May 8, 2012
Ordinarily, we wouldn’t be writing about the Department of Motor Vehicles unless we had something new to say about the unique brand of torment we’ve all sustained at a local branch. But there’s actually something progressive going on at the DMV offices in Nevada. The state has just issued Google a license to test three self-driving cars on public roadways.
Google has been lobbying hard to test their autonomous cars, and the Silver State, home to Las Vegas, is primed to roll the dice. As the Washington Post notes, the Vegas strip is just the kind of place where a robotic car could be a great idea, keeping everyone on the street a little safer as one less car swerves hard to the left as its driver gapes at the neon and nakedness and countless Godzilla-sized distractions.
According to Google and other makers of autonomous cars, safety and efficiency are the drivers of the technology. Given that human error is the cause of most car accidents, and given the world’s desperate need to be more fuel-efficient, automated cars like Google’s modified Prius could go a long way toward reducing injuries and air pollution.