Nevada Issues Driver's License To A Driverless Google Prius

A Toyota Prius has recently become the first car to be issued a driver’s license by the state of Nevada. No, not a Prius driver – the actual car – but this is a car smart enough to compel the state government to give it one.

As you’ve likely seen in related stories already, this Prius is one of several being tested by Google, and specially equipped for autonomous driving.

According to the BBC, other auto companies are also seeking to follow this, the first vehicle to earn a license to drive by itself, and in so doing are following Google’s lead.

Google’s inaugural self-driving vehicle in Nevada will sport a red license plate with an infinity sign next to the number 001.

It manages quite fine without humans thanks to the humans who programmed its software with data fed via video cameras on the roof, radar sensors, and a laser range finder to gauge distance from its surroundings to avoid collisions.

The BBC reports California and other states are also looking to make driverless vehicles fully licensed.

So far, the car licensed in Nevada has reportedly seen 140,000 accident-free miles. It was bumped once by a car in the rear bumper, but that was not the Google driverless car’s fault.

Indeed, potential for human error and the likelihood of increased safety if people are removed from operating their own vehicles is one argument in favor of driverless cars.

Other advantages being touted include that a vehicle could one day safely transport the handicapped, infirm, children, or others in need of a lift and unable to do it themselves.

The director of Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles, Bruce Breslow, said he thinks these are “cars of the future.”

While it’s still undergoing testing, Google has at times put trained drivers behind the wheel who are ready at a moment’s notice to take over if something should go wrong with the machine.

So far, even when traveling over places like the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, and in other clustered regions, the person behind the wheel is usually just along for the ride.

BBC via AutoGuide


  • JJJSpawn

    minority report period

  • Matthew

    This is awesome, I can sleep in the car on my way to work everyday instead of dealing with annoying traffic!

  • Shines

    It would be funny if someone tried to steal one of these and it drove them straight to the police station.
    I can see more jokes coming… ;-D

  • TedPass

    Autonomous cars – that’s the next big frontier for automakers and infrastructure producers, from hardware (especially sensors) to software (like Google). Sky’s the limit at the moment and whoever gets there first will have a first mover advantage that means really a lot in this economy.

  • Capt. Concernicus

    @ Shines,

    Now that’s funny. :-)

    I can see a guy wanting to go to a gentlemans club and the Prius saying, “I’m sorry sir, but I cannot take you there because your wife would not like that.”

  • shecky vegas

    No way, man! No way! I’m tellin’ you, man, this is just another example of Big Brother putting his insidious claws on our necks, man! I mean, think about it, man. What would keep the government from taking over your car and make you go places you don’t wanna go, man? I mean, man, what if, like, you were diggin’ on copping to the local library and haulin’ out some Keroauc or Burroughs or some other cat, and The Man, man, decides he’s gonna make you go to some dried-up, square John Burke Society meeting, man? What if Big Brother MAKES your car take you to where you DON’T want to be, man? And then they make you put on some electric jackboots to make you march in line with all the other jackboots? What if THAT happens, man? WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO, MAN? NOTHING, MAN, BECAUSE BIG BROTHER IS CONTROLLING IT ALL, MAN! HE’S CONTROLLING IT ALL!!!

    IT JUST FREAKS ME OUT, MAN!!! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Nice, technology progress :) Today i get my driving licence, yeah. This school are best – http://www.autoskola-presto.com