Watch out, citizens of Nevada. Just as it had threatened, Google has finally obtained a license for its driverless car.
The Nevada DMV approved the nation’s first autonomous license, after its officials rode along with the self-driving Toyota Prius and discovered that it drove better on the Las Vegas Strip than your average hung-over, sleep-deprived Midwestern tourist. Nevada DMV director Bruce Breslow even went as far to proclaim it “the car of the future.”
Google’s Toyota Prius is outfitted with video cameras, radar sensors, lasers, and information collected from manually driven cars and legions of Street View WiFi networks to navigate turns and prevent it from gaining sentience. Driverless cars developed by the company have successfully navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, the Las Vegas Strip and the crowded Golden Gate Bridge, with no (major) incidents.
And if you need anyone to tell you why a driverless car is a boon, you may not have lived it up in Vegas. Or Los Angeles, for that matter—California is also seeking to regulate autonomous cars for future licensing, and Nevada will license future driverless cars that are privately owned.
“Through the use of computers, sensors and other systems,” said California state Senator Alex Padilla, “an autonomous vehicle is capable of analyzing the driving environment more quickly and operating the vehicle more safely.”
I believe I can speak for any commuter, barfly, or the lazy when I say—I, for one, welcome our autonomous overlords.