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Robotic Cars: Safer than Human Drivers?

Posted on Sunday, April 1st, 2012 at 5:17 am    

Last month, the state of Nevada passed legislation that will allow robotic cars to obtain a special driving permit. You might be wondering why Nevada would do such a thing. It turns out that Google has been secretly testing a fleet of robotic cars in California and Nevada for quite some time. In fact, National Public Radio (NPR) recently reported that Google’s fleet of robotic cars has already logged more than 200,000 miles.

Amazingly, per NPR, the robotic cars, also called autonomous cars or driverless cars, have managed to do this without a robotic car causing a single traffic accident. Google says that the only time one of their robotic cars was involved in an accident was when it was rear ended while stopped for a red traffic light.

Wondering what a Google robotic car looks like?

It looks like a Toyota Prius with a cone-shaped laser mounted on its roof and radar devices and cameras mounted on the sides of the cars. If you would like to see the car in motion, watch the video above.

According to Bruce Breslow, director of the Nevada DMV, these test vehicles will be given red license plates indicating a “student robot driver” is behind the wheel.

More information about the Google Robot Car is available here.