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When we think of the future of motor vehicles, we're (mostly) excited about what's coming next. We're a bit less than thrilled about the prospect of vehicles that can drive themselves, but the state of Nevada seems all too ready to welcome the autonomous vehicle.

The Huffington Post reports that Nevada has passed a law that will allow autonomous vehicles on its roads as early as March 1, 2012. The new law simply directs the Department of Motor Vehicles to come up with regulations authorizing the use of autonomous vehicles on the highways within the state. The law even directs the DMV to come up with a driver's license for such vehicles.

While the law in Nevada is less than a year from hitting the books, keep in mind that the driverless car is itself still a long way from reality. After all, Google's autonomous vehicles have about 140,000 miles under their collective belt. Meanwhile, we're betting that most 1995 Honda Civics have more road time than the entire Google fleet.


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  • 17 Comments
      throwback
      • 3 Years Ago
      "The law even directs the DMV to come up with a driver's license for such vehicles." If there's no driver, what's the point of a driver's license?
      DrEvil
      • 3 Years Ago
      It gets my panties in a bunch when people are willing to fight to the death for the way it used to be. The best line is "This is un-American. Let me tell you folks something about America, every decade for the last 100 years, was very different from the previous decade. That's what American about America. It changes. It moves forward, it sets trends for the WORLD to follow. Manned Flight, Blue Jeans, Coca-Cola, Cell Phone, Personal Computers, Internet, GPS, Microwave Ovens, Hip Hop, Hollywood - Bollywood etc. Just to name a few. I would love an autonomous capable automobile. I would hate an exclusively autonomous automobile. Think of the airplane (aeroplane for the Brits), most of them has auto-pilot. How has that affected flying? It has made it better, safer. I love to drive, a 300 - 400 mile spontaneous drive is not out of the norm for me. #1 on my "bucket list" is to drive from Alaska to Argentina hitting everything in between, except maybe Mexico (too much lawlessness). Back to autonomous capable automobiles. I would like to be able to engage such a system as needed. The one problem might be hot heads who lack tolerance and refuse to co-exist with such a system on the same strip of roadway.
      Dan
      • 3 Years Ago
      I saw a pretty fascinating autonomous vehicle at a small company in LA doing work for the government. The idea is to have some vehicles in a convoy be autonomous with a concept that reduces exposure of service members to IEDs. These vehicles really do work. Having said that, I'm not ready to see them on public freeways.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am not sure how I feel about this. My initial reaction is the idea of driverless cars have been around for ages - its called Public Transit. If you don't want to drive, hop on a bus!
      savagemike
      • 3 Years Ago
      Being early to the party with rules supporting autonomous vehicles in your state is a cheap way to be inviting to great high-paying R&D jobs, etc... Because the research into (and need for testing of) such vehicles is only going to burgeon going forward. Once companies invest some dough into R&D and testing facilities they are not going to go moving them off for no reason. So - laws which allow them to test and know where they stand legally in that regard are an excellent and cheap invitation to business. Unfortunately at some point we will see the first fatal accident with such a vehicle. Hopefully the idiotic backlash that follows won't delay this tech too long - because ultimately it will save countless lives.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        DrEvil
        • 3 Years Ago
        Which America do they hate? The one you would like preserve or the one that is open to possibilities?
          DrEvil
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          Oh!! The one that the GOP is willing to bankrupt, because the good of their party takes a higher precedence over the good of the country. Two sides of the same coin.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @DrEvil
          [blocked]
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 3 Years Ago
      In the past 10 years, we have started to see a clampdown on cars. It's really disturbing. Any you know what? it makes me glad to have my mid 90's car, big time. No black box, no electric power steering, no electric throttle, i can see out of the side windows ( roof impact regulations have made most cars look like chop tops ), and it doesn't weigh a ton. It's hard to get excited about new cars; we are going in the direction of driverless cars that spy on you and report back to big brother. I like how they are eager to authorize these ...
      RJC
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hi, I'm Johnny Cab. Get in. "Take me to a buffet", says the customer. Click. Doors lock. James Bond style shackles lock down on your arms. "Oh no, this is Johnny Cab, I'm taking you to a casino, where we'll run up all over of your credit cards and a take a second on your mortgage. Ha Ha." The following scenario was brought to you by the Nevada Tourist Bureau.
      FunkyBanana
      • 3 Years Ago
      "After all, Google's autonomous vehicles have about 140,000 miles under their collective belt. Meanwhile, we're betting that most 1995 Honda Civics have more road time than the entire Google fleet." PROOF READ! This is so hard to read.
      Tom
      • 3 Years Ago
      Car infotainment options continue to expand, and regulation continues to limit what can be used while driving. Soon enough, systems like MyFord Touch will only be usable while the car is parked -- or in autonomous mode. The public will be perfectly happy to accept autonomous cars in order to use personal or in-car entertainment and communication devices while on the road. That said, I'm with the dude who said autonomous good, but solely-autonomous is bad. Hopefully, along with autonomous highways, we'll see more investment and interest in public racetracks.
      David Geer
      • 3 Years Ago
      For blind drivers, more uniform driving for greater fuel efficiency, to eliminate speeding and other law-breaking if they set rules the car or passengers cannot circumvent, fewer accidents due to no human error, etc, etc, etc.
      BipDBo
      • 3 Years Ago
      Most drivers shouldn't be driving. I'll be happy to see them replaced by computers. I especially see benefit in an area like Las Vegas, where a fleet autonomous vehicles could transportall of the partiers. With ever increasing congestion, driving on public roads just isn't that enjoyable. Maybe in the future the only remaining drivers will be on a closed track.
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