Google's once secret automated vehicle research and testing is now looking towards the next step: legality. Well, in one state at least.
The New York Times is reporting that Google is "quietly lobbying" for proposed legislation in the great state of Nevada to legalize self-driving cars on public roads.
Back in the fall of 2010, Google announced that they were in fact developing the technology for automated driving, and that they had already been testing the cars with great results. Google said that they has test-driven the
robotic overlords self-driving cars more than 140,000 miles in California, 1,000 of those being driven entirely autonomously.
A couple months ago we got some video of the cars in action, signalling that the future is upon us. Slow down! You're driving like a maniac, bot!
According to the NYT, Google hired a Las Vegas-based lobbyist to promote the legislation in Nevada. One piece of legislation allows the licensing and operation of the autonomous cars and another would allow texting behind the wheel of a self-driving car. You know some lawmaker's daughter in Nevada made them put that one in there.
The self-driving cars could have great benefits, like safety, fuel efficiency and job creation. Unfortunately, they could also aid in the transportation of our robot masters during the robot uprising.
But lower gas costs sound nice.
No word on why Google is looking to Nevada to break this issue. There is also no word on whether inebriated gamblers leaving casinos could get behind the wheel of an automated car. I see no correlation.