Google has hired a lobbyist to pitch two new bills to Nevada’s state Legislature which could see driverless cars become legal in the state. If the bills pass, Nevada will be the first state in the world where driverless cars are legal.
The two bills include one that will allow the licensing and testing of autonomous cars, while the other, interestingly, will be an exemption to the text-while-driving legislation. As users of the Google car are not technically driving it, talking or texting on your mobile isn’t really regarded unsafe.
Sebastian Thrun, one of the Google car creators, has already provided a sizeable argument which claims that driverless cars, if put into practice, could save millions of lives out on the roads. He also says the cars could potentially free up traffic problems, giving motorists some of their time back.
Using roof-mounted cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder, the Google autonomous car has already been tested in the US, and has covered more than 225,000km. The car is able to calculate sudden traffic changes, read extremely narrow mountain roads at night, and even integrate with pedestrians and avoid accidents.
A decision is expected to be reached about the possible legislation changes before the Legislature’s session ends in June. We’ll keep you updated.