Nevada allows Google to test driverless cars on public streets

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles has granted Google permission to begin testing a fleet of driverless cars. Look for the red license plates.

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    Google has received permission to begin testing driverless cars in Nevada. Here, an image from the program that steers the cars, courtesy of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles.
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Cue the Jetsons jokes. 

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Google has received permission from the Nevada state Department of Motor Vehicles to immediately begin testing a fleet of driverless cars on public streets. The Sun says six autonomous cars have been outfitted by the team at Google: six Toyota Priuses, an Audi TT and a Lexus RX450h. All the driverless cars will receive red license plates, with an infinity symbol on the left of the plate.  

“I felt using the infinity symbol was the best way to represent the car of the future," Bruce Breslow, the director of the Nevada DMV, said in a statement. "The unique red plate will be easily recognized by the public and law enforcement and will be used only for licensed autonomous test vehicles."

So should we be scared? Are hacker-controller robot cars about to overrun the United States

Breslow said that Google's petition was approved only after a special DMV delegation – apparently dubbed, in a nice Orwellian twist, the Autonomous Review Committee – thoroughly reviewed the company's "safety plans, employee training, system functions and accident reporting mechanisms." And each car bristles with a range of sensors and computer equipment, which can sense obstacles such as other cars, bicycles, and guardrails. 

Furthermore, as Sky News notes, the cars are not really driverless. At least two Google employees will be required to sit in each vehicle. Those employees have the ability to override the computer controls. 

In related news, the Federal Aviation Administration recently gave official approval to a flying car – or "roadable aircraft" called the Terrafugia's Transistion. It's all happening, folks: Driverless cars, flying cars.

Someone go fetch Astro

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