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Autonomous Cars In Nevada?

Nevada may be the first state in the nation to authorize the use of autonomous vehicles on public roads. The first step is to write appropriate legislation, because there is no legal precedent.


(Google autonomous car)

Take a look at these key elements from the proposed bill:

1. The Department shall by regulation establish a driver’s license endorsement for the operation of an autonomous vehicle on the highways of this State. The driver’s license endorsement described in this subsection must, in its restrictions or lack thereof, recognize the fact that a person is not required to actively drive an autonomous vehicle.

Section 8 of this bill requires the Department of Motor Vehicles to adopt regulations authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles on highways within the State of Nevada. Section 8 defines an “autonomous vehicle” to mean a motor vehicle that uses artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning system coordinates to drive itself without the active intervention of a human operator.

Sec. 8.

1. The Department shall adopt regulations authorizing the operation of autonomous vehicles on highways within the State of Nevada.
2. The regulations required to be adopted by subsection 1 must:
(a) Set forth requirements that an autonomous vehicle must meet before it may be operated on a highway within this State;
(b) Set forth requirements for the insurance that is required to test or operate an autonomous vehicle on a highway within this State;
(c) Establish minimum safety standards for autonomous vehicles and their operation;
(d) Provide for the testing of autonomous vehicles;
(e) Restrict the testing of autonomous vehicles to specified geographic areas; and
(f) Set forth such other requirements as the Department determines to be necessary

We're getting close to the point of having cars that are good enough; take a look at the amazing videos in Google Cars Drive Faster, Safer Than You.

SF readers have been looking forward to this tech since the Forties, if not earlier. In his 1941 novel Methuselah's Children, Robert Heinlein imagined an autonomous car:

The car slid up the ramp, waited until the traffic control signaled a predicted break in traffic, then joined the high-speed northbound stream. Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...

She woke just before the signal from the car which would have called her...
(Read more about Heinlein's self-driving car)

Via Spectrum.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/29/2011)

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