A Daily news digest by Jasper van Santen

Driverless cars approved by Nevada – Telegraph

In Nonsense on May 8, 2012 at 15:26

Driverless cars approved by Nevada

Google which has embarked on an extensive testing programme of the cars secured the approval of the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Motor manufacturers have been working on taking human error out of driving for more than a decade with innovations such as lane departure warning, self applying brakes and cars which park themselves.

Google, however, has come up with the ultimate version of cruise control, by removing the driver completely with the help of video cameras, lasers and radar sensors.

It relies on mapping which is created by Google’s own staff who drive the route filling in the location of lane markings and road signs.

Despite being controlled by a computer, two people must sit in the car at all times.

They will be held responsible for the car’s behaviour. As the vehicle will only be able to break the speed limit if the driver takes control, he or she would receive the speeding fine.

But he or she will be able to spend the journey on the phone or even texting without putting other road users at risk.

A test car, which has already been tested in California, has already covered 140,000 miles without any mishap – apart from being nudged from behind at a set of traffic lights.

Vehicles have been driven across San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and along the Pacific Coast highway.

It was designed by Sebastian Thrun, a professor and Stanford University and a vice president at Google.

Nevada’s move was approved by Bruce Breslow, the Department of Motor Vehicles director, who was given a ride in one of the cars.

“I sat in the back seat first, looking at the laptop that shows what the vehicle is seeing,” he said. “My apprehension disappeared after about five seconds.

“Once I felt confident that the car could see better than I could, they allowed me to get behind the wheel.”


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