Road Safety News

Driverless cars approved in America

Wednesday 9th May 2012

Driverless cars are to be allowed on the roads of Nevada, the first state in America to licence their use (Telegraph).

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

According to the Telegraph report, 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.

The car relies on mapping created by Google employees 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, and they will be held responsible for the car’s behaviour.

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

Bruce Breslow, Navada’s Department of Motor Vehicles director, said: “I sat in the back seat first, looking at the laptop that shows what the vehicle is seeing.

“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.”

Robert Gifford, executive director of the Parliamentary Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), said: “Our regulations require a driver to be in control of the vehicle at all times. It would be impossible for these cars to be allowed on our roads.

“But there are cars which already park themselves and there is a need for the driver to be assisted but not replaced by the technology.

“The Government has to understand how the technology will develop over the next decade and get ahead of the game rather than respond to it.”

Click here to read the full Telegraph report.


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There are 'Driverless' vehicles in the UK that don't require much interaction apart from acceleration and deceleration. They are called trains!!

Seriously though, sitting in a car and not doing much is hardly driving. Looks like the cars from 'Minority Report' are about to come reality! Maybe future crime would become future road safety incidents yet to happen also?
Joe - Sefton

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