THE CHORE OF having to use a steering wheel, a gear box and even brakes could become a thing of the past with self-driving cars being given the green light in Nevada.
Google has been awarded the first US licence, according to CBCNews, giving them permission to test self-driving cars on public streets after successful demonstrations took place on the Las Vegas Strip.
The self-driving vehicle works on auto pilot and requires no input from humans. Laser radar mounted on the roof of the vehicle detects obstacles such as pedestrians, other cars and cyclists.
It may be some time away before our cars can simply drop us off at our destination and go and park itself or pick up the kids from school unattended. Nevada has stipulated that the robotic car must be accompanied by at least two people at all times – one must sit behind the wheel while another must monitor a computer screen that displays the car’s route.
Humans can override the auto-pilot system by simply holding onto the steering wheel or tapping on the brakes. Last year one self-driving car was in an accident, however it was due to human error. Venturebeat.com reports that the Google-owned Toyota Prius rear-ended another Prius in California but at the time the car was in control of the driver not the computer.