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'No driver' cars cleared in Vegas

15 May 2012, 01:00

 Las Vegas, Nevada - Google has cleared a major road block in its quest to introduce self-driving cars to the roads of the world. Earlier in May we reported on Google's driverless cars undergoing testing in Nevada.

The Nevada Motor Vehicles Department has given one of the company's prototypes the first-ever licence to drive itself after test runs down the bustling Las Vegas Strip and other streets showed the vehicle to be as safe - or possibly safer - than human drivers.


The modified Toyota Prius, steered by sophisticated software using sensors, radar and cameras, was issued a special red licence plate with an infinity symbol and the words Autonomous Car to differentiate it from regular vehicles.

Department Director Bruce Breslow said: "When there comes a time that vehicle manufacturers market autonomous vehicles to the public, that infinity symbol will appear on a green licence plate."

Nevada became the first state in the country to develop licensing criteria for self-driving cars when it unveiled the new regulations in March.

Until now Google's test fleet of self-driving cars always carried a human driver ready to intervene in emergencies, but its new status in Nevada will allow the company to start testing cars with no humans aboard.



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