Google Gets First Nevada Self-Driving Car LicenseIt’s official: Google is now allowed to operate self-driving cars in the state of Nevada. That makes it the first time that anyone anywhere has been allowed to do so without special dispensation from a government. We’re still far from having a self-driving car in our driveway, but this is a major, major step forward.
The license gives Google the right to test its vehicles in the state of Nevada. The company will have to comply with some special rules, however.
First, Google’s cars will have to be outfitted with a special red license plate with an infinity symbol on it for easy identification. Second, self-driving cars will need to have two passengers in the car at all times, with one required to be ready to take control behind the wheel. There is also a tightly-regulated area where they are allowed to drive. But again, this is a first step, and it marks the first time that self-driving cars have been allowed to drive at all. There is also a $1 million insurance bond that must be payed prior to getting the license.
If Nevada’s first tentative steps prove fruitful, well, other states will take notice. At least Google seems to think so. The company is already in talks with automakers to get their tech integrated into future automobiles. Anthony Levandowski, Google’s lead on the project, also said that their systems would be available "much sooner than the next decade," which means that these things are coming very, very soon.
If the testing goes well, Nevada will probably be one of the first states to authorize the use of self-driving cars as something other than a test vehicle. But before that happens, Google believes that it has millions more miles to drive before its vehicles are ready for the spotlight. Though Google will likely keep tracking user data once it hits the market, using the feedback to improve the safety of its vehicles.