After secretly testing a fleet of autonomous cars in California, Google is now looking to shift driverless ‘driving’ into gear in Nevada, lobbying state officials to allow the vehicle to be legally driven on public roads.
To achieve their goal, and the dream of the projects creator and former Stanford professor Sebastian Thrun, Google has hired LAs Vegas lobbyist David Goldwater to alter existing Nevada state laws. Two key changes need to be made, the first would be a bill allowing for the licensing and testing of autonomous cars, while a second would then deal with issues of distracted driving, essentially allowing for the ‘driver’ of the car to text while driving as he or she really wouldn’t be in control of the vehicle anyway.
Thrun has been a vocal proponent of autonomous cars, claiming they would cut down on pollution and drastically reduce the number of road fatalities caused by human error.
Currently Google’s fleet of driverless cars totals seven and includes six Toyota Prius hybrids and one Audi TT. The cars are distinguishable by a large laser range finder on the roof, with other camera and radar sensors on the front and sides of the car.