Nevada Issues Google an Autonomous Vehicle License

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The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has issued an autonomous vehicle license to Google. The license is the first of its kind, and will allow Google to test its self-driving cars on Nevada roadways.

It was announced in February that, after legalizing autonomous vehicles last year, Nevada was developing regulations for self-driving vehicles. As seen in the photo above, Google's new license plate carries an infinity symbol and is red, meaning the car is still considered to be in testing.

“I felt using the infinity symbol was the best way to represent the ‘car of the future.’” Nevada DMV Department Director Bruce Breslow said. “The unique red plate will be easily recognized by the public and law enforcement and will be used only for licensed autonomous test vehicles. When there comes a time that vehicle manufactures market autonomous vehicles to the public, that infinity symbol will appear on a green license plate."

Though Google was the first company to file for the new license, The Nevada DMV stated that some auto manufacturers have indicated an intrest in filing for the license as well. Those companies should start preparing now: the application for an autonomous vehicle testing license has stringent requirements. In addition to normal vehicle licensing requirements and a few fees, the Nevada DMV requires requires companies to put up a $1,000,000 cash deposit for every 5 vehicles being tested and submit a complete description of their autonomous technology, documentation detailing a safety plan for testing on public roadways, and a plan for hiring and training operators for the test vehicles.

Matt Cutts, head of Google's webspam team, announced the development in a tweet:

Nevada issues the first license plate for an autonomous vehicle: It has an infinity symbol on it! 12 hours ago via Tweet Button ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

Cutts' tweet was met overwhelmingly positive, geeky humor:

@mattcutts #skynet begins? 11 hours ago via Twitter for iPhone ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@mattcutts I'd like to put that "self driving car" sticker on mine, just to see the look on people faces. 12 hours ago via TweetDeck ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

@mattcutts get a roving casino license and you could add a slot machine for the !driver to use. 12 hours ago via TweetDeck ·  Reply ·  Retweet ·  Favorite · powered by @socialditto

I know that Carl Malamud was joking in the above tweet, but seeing self-driving Las Vegas taxis with slot machines inside of them is probably something we will see in the not-to-distant future. What do you think? Are you ready to not drive your autonomous vehicle? Leave a comment below and let us know.

(via ars technica)
(photo courtesy The Nevada DMV)

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