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Google Gets Driverless License For Nevada Roads

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the but-officer-the-car-was-driving dept.

Google 215

Fluffeh writes "On Monday, the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles approved Google's license application to test autonomous vehicles on the state's roads. The state had approved such laws back in February, and has now begun issuing licenses based on those regulations. The state previously outlined that companies that want to test such vehicles will need an insurance bond of $1 million and must provide detailed outlines of where they plan to test it and under what conditions. Further, the car must have two people in it at all times, with one behind the wheel who can take control of the vehicle if needed. The Autonomous Review Committee of the Nevada DMV is supervising the first licensing procedure and has now approved corresponding plates to go with it, complete with a red background and infinity symbol."

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Google Beta (-1, Flamebait)

Vectone (2633883) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921295)

With Google's insistence to label pretty much all of their projects as "beta" to avoid liability, I think this is a very dangerous project. We are not talking about something like email hosting or fun things like YouTube here - we are talking about vehicles that can, and do kill people. Not only people inside the car, but other people too.

On top of this we can think about Google's history of privacy violations. It's obvious they are trying to gain something from this and with their style and business practices, it probably means something that outright violates your and everyone else's privacy. I was already shocked when I read about Google Goggles and the way the device works. It doesn't process the image on the device itself but instead sends it to Google's servers. Combined with Google's facial recognition technology and patent [computerworld.com] , Google Goggles will give the company outstanding amount of living world and meatspace data.

Now I can only guess that Google is trying to expand their privacy violations to roads, driving habits and your everyday life.

Re:Google Beta (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921371)

Err 1 million dollar bond just for the licence? Shill much?

Re:Google Beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921375)

Paranoid much?

Re:Google Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921539)

"Paranoid" does not mean "more concerned than I am". And yes, that is what you were saying.

Re:Google Beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921689)

In a way, that is *also* what I am saying. Read the post from OP and tell me that isn't paranoid.

"It's obvious they are trying to gain something from this and with their style and business practices, it probably means something that outright violates your and everyone else's privacy."

Google goes out does something that no other company was willing to explore, and this undoubtedly will cost them billions in R&D. Of course they are going to try to gain something from this. OP must be living in some dream world where companies do these things for free.

"Now I can only guess that Google is trying to expand their privacy violations to roads, driving habits and your everyday life."

Like I said, paranoid much?

Re:Google Beta (1, Informative)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921441)

Fortunately beta car are not allowed on roads, or else every car manufacturer would claim their car is a beta version and get away with it. Go shill elsewhere.

Re:Google Beta (-1, Troll)

Vectone (2633883) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921573)

So why the hell do we allow Google to release non-working beta software on the internet? Why do we allow them to blatantly violate our privacy and sell our information to advertisers? It's time for the government(s) to step in and do something about them. Google needs to be shutdown, or at least they need to be made to change their blatantly obvious and abusive business. And if they refuse, the CEO's and higher level people need to be put for jail for their violations. Just like we need to revamp the banking industry and held people responsible for their abusive practices.

Re:Google Beta (5, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921699)

So why the hell do we allow Google to release non-working beta software on the internet?

Because:
(1) Google's "non-working Beta software" often works better than software from other companies that purports to be ready for general release,
(2) For most software purposes on the internet, there isn't the kind of immediate public safety concern that justifies regulation of what vehicles are allowed on public roadways.

Why do we allow them to blatantly violate our privacy and sell our information to advertisers? It's time for the government(s) to step in and do something about them.

Insofar as thee have been actual credible accusations of privacy violations at Google, governments -- both in the EU and the US -- have stepped in.

If you have information on cases where that has not occurred, you should provide specifics, rather than vague handwringing.

Though, preferably, in an appropriate place -- even if you had a point, without some nexus beyond a connection to the same company, it would still be off-topic in a thread on Google's driverless car technology.

Google needs to be shutdown, or at least they need to be made to change their blatantly obvious and abusive business. And if they refuse, the CEO's and higher level people need to be put for jail for their violations.

As a pretty firm believer in the principal of legality as opposed to the rule of lynch mobs, I'd like to see some credible evidence that the "CEO's and higher level people" actually committed offenses for which jailing is the punishment prescribed by law before accepting that they ought to be put in jail.

Re:Google Beta (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921703)

Is someone holding a gun to your head and forcing you to use Google's services?

Re:Google Beta (1, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921771)

Is someone holding a gun to your head and forcing you to use Google's services?

Since when is "gun to the head" the standard by which these things are judged anyway?

Is the TSA putting a gun to my head. No. I can choose not to ever leave my house. Is Google putting a gun to my head? No... I can choose not to use the internet.

And if I want to avoid the TSA and Google I guess I might as well live in a cave. But its completely my choice not to live in a cave... nobody put a gun to my head. /facepalm

That said, I for one like using the internet.

And you have to take some pretty significant effort to avoid leaving an imprint of yourself on google's stuff.

You aren't private by default, which is as it should be.

Re:Google Beta (1)

Majkow (604785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921877)

bin laden also tried living in a cave but he prefered a house. his computer also didn't have access to the internet. and he was still tracked down my google analytics.

Re:Google Beta (3, Funny)

letherial (1302031) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921921)

"Is Google putting a gun to my head? No... I can choose not to use the internet."

better yet, you can use the internet but choose not to use any of googles services

there are lots of search engines....google it if you dont belive me.

Re:Google Beta (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922419)

there are lots of search engines....google it if you dont belive me.

Every time you visit a website with google ads you are tracked.

Every time you visit a site with google analytics you get tracked.

Any time you visit any of a gazillion sites with youtube content embedded.... you get tracked.

Every time you exchange an email with someone who uses gmail, (or any other domain hosted by google apps).

Every time someone you know uploads their contact list with your email address in it to google+ or gmail... they can build a ghost social network profile on you. (Facebook does this too...)

Everytime you phone or text message someone who uses an android... actually... i'm just speculating on that one, but if android users can't review their call history, voice and text messages via their google account today... I'd expect it soon.

Avoiding google on the internet isn't nearly as simple as simply not using their search engine. ... Google it if you don't beleive me.

Re:Google Beta (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922957)

No, I don't, because I opt out through the use of Ghostery (I do use GMail, though, but all those parts are exactly identical to any other third-party email host). As far as the Android thing goes: I'm pretty sure someone would have noticed if they did that. You know, given that they make the source available and you can get root access on many of the phones and all that.

Re:Google Beta (0)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#39923125)

No, I don't, because I opt out through the use of Ghostery

Which aligns with what i said -- that you have to make a pretty serious effort to avoid being tracked.

(I do use GMail, though, but all those parts are exactly identical to any other third-party email host)

Yes and no. Mostly no. When you sign up with gmail you add your data points to the largest advertising and data mining company on the planet. They have their tendrils in everything.

Your data point is integrated with everything else.

When you sign up for a free webmail account with rinkydink-hosting-inc your datapoint is all they have to work with.

Even if rinkydink were every bit as dedicated to invading your privacy as google is, they simply don't have anywhere near the same reach.

Scale matters. Being caught on some tourists vacation photos is irrelevant. But having every camera in the country send its pictures to one database with facial recognition is a massive invasion of privacy.

Rinkydink webmail is a tourists camera. Google is the country spanning camera infrastructure. Don't pretend they are the same just because they both took your picture.

Re:Google Beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39923215)

It is called no-script download it and use it and you wont have any trouble avoiding google's nefarious monitoring. If you miss the functionality that google provides then kill yourself please. No one is going to provide all the functionality and ability to generate revenue on free content without something in return.

Re:Google Beta (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921881)

No. And I don't use them any more. However that doesn't mean Google has stopped spying on me. Their analytics spyware is embedded in sites all over the net. There's no avoiding it, without giving up the WWW.

Re:Google Beta (3, Interesting)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922099)

While I don't share the paranoid viewpoints of some, your argument fails from the outset. Google may not be holding a gun to my head, but a poorly designed AI car can certainly cause as much damage as a pistol (if not more) Let alone the damage that could be caused if poorly designed AI cars achieve fleet numbers.

That said, I trust Google on this one (well, Google plus the powers that be along the approval process) Putting out a shoddy product in this venture would cause a Torches and Pitchforks riot the likes of which haven't been seen in my lifetime. And Google knows it.

Re:Google Beta (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921705)

I hate these practices too. But google is hardly alone on this. Pretty much every software I have used has a disclaimer that say, there is no guarantee that the software will work and they are not liable for any damages.
 
I hope the FTC takes interest and clamps down hard on such practices.
 
I see you are still singling out Google. You just confirmed that you are a shill.

Re:Google Beta (1)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922769)

I hope the FTC takes interest and clamps down hard on such practices.

I hope not. FTC regulations would lock out smaller players and strengthen larger ones.

Re:Google Beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921915)

Software is released with no warranty because mostly nobody is willing to pay for better software (except for a few industries like oil, etc, where a software failure can cost billions). Given the options of cheap or good, people will choose cheap.

Re:Google Beta (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922781)

BS. My business would definitely pay for software that was guaranteed to work error free or at least guaranteed not to produce incorrect results.

Re:Google Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39923377)

You can (pay for people to) formally prove the code works (according to the specification, that is; getting the specification right is a different problem). It's expensive and probably not worth it if the critical code is not very, very short/simple. An alternative is to run different (and independent, made by a separate team) implementations on different hardware, hoping the majority (e.g. 2 of 3) will get the (same) correct answer, or at least not give the exact same wrong result (i.e. it's the same technique used to detect hardware faults).

Re:Google Beta (0)

espiesp (1251084) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922077)

Because it's FREE, just like the USA. So go fuck yourself.

Re:Google Beta (3, Insightful)

yurtinus (1590157) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922127)

So, why the hell do you use Google's non-working beta software when you can find released software on the Internet? Why the hell do you give them your personal information to sell to advertisers? It's time for *YOU* to step in and do something about them.

Good God man, nobody is forcing Google on you.

Re:Google Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922227)

Just like we need to revamp the banking industry and held people responsible for their abusive practices.

I see what you did there. How does it feel to be so completely out of control? To be so angry that you're out of control that you froth and piss and moan, wring your hands and clench your teeth.

And then fire up a browser and use Google's services anyway. Hypocrite.

Re:Google Beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921591)

Ahem [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:Google Beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921455)

Google is trying to find the next massive source of money. Driverless cars can and will change the world in addition to making billions of dollars for those involved. Google wants to be involved in that.

But you've figured it out. Because gmail said "beta" a bit too long...the driverless cars suck and will murder people.

You're a useless anti-google shill.

Re:Google Beta (4, Interesting)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921509)

I wonder who's going to be immortalised as the first person to be killed by a computer-controlled car?

1st Death.... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921589)

Probably some poor mechanic working on said car, When owner calls it home whilst still up on the Car Jack.

Re:1st Death.... (1)

MachDelta (704883) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922661)

Step #1 when working on a car is always disconnect the battery. That said, when i worked as a mechanic, no one bothered with that bit unless it was really necessary. So you're probably still right.

Re:Google Beta (1)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921615)

First person to sue for Google-induced-whiplash will be much earlier

Re:Google Beta (4, Funny)

Centurix (249778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922285)

Goolash. Another fine dish tainted.

Re:Google Beta (5, Insightful)

edremy (36408) | more than 2 years ago | (#39923057)

In all seriousness, this (and other insurance fraud) won't be an issue. The cars are instrumented to the gills, and I'm sure in the case of any accident they can dump the data to show that what the person is claiming is impossible.

My personal feeling is that insurance rates are going to drive the adoption of self driving cars. Once the insurance companies realize that they have a lower error rate than humans (never tired, drunk, distracted, etc) and that they can tell who was at fault in an accident (almost certainly the other guy) you'll see serious incentives to keep cars in auto-drive.

Re:Google Beta (2)

Endovior (2450520) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921919)

Smart money is a drunk driver, who does something far too stupid for the computer to compensate for, and dies after hitting the thing.

Re:Google Beta (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922149)

I bet it will be someone in the Middle East.

Re:Google Beta (2)

Black.Shuck (704538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922275)

I wonder who's going to be immortalised as the first person to be killed by a computer-controlled car?

Anyone know the immortal name of the first person to be killed by a person-controlled car?

Re:Google Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922493)

Yes, Mary Ward

Re:Google Beta (3, Informative)

legont (2570191) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922655)

Well... I do; for the US that is.

It was Henry Bliss. He was a real estate agent in NY (no surprise here), killed by a taxicab (still no surprise).

What is interesting, it was an electric car. We got to stay with gas just for the sake of children. http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2011/09/0913first-us-pedestrian-killed-by-car/ [wired.com]

Re:Google Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922501)

About a year ago I recall seeing a youtube video of a guy who happened to be behind one of the google cars as it was driving down the street. Suddenly for no apparent reason the google car slams on its brakes and the guy behind him barely avoided slamming into the rear of him. The google car then continues to drive like nothing happened.

Re:Google Beta (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922721)

Why would he be particularly immortalized? For example if you're looking for the first human to be killed by robots, you don't have to wait for "I, robot" to become reality as that happened already back in 1979 [wired.com] . Doesn't mean that robots have went away, people are quite regularly maimed or killed for neglecting safety zones, getting caught in presses and grinders and such. My prediction is that the first person killed by a computer-controlled car will be a Darwin Award winner that would have been killed by a human driver too, had there been one. Don't get me wrong, a computer-controller car won't be better than the people who programmed it and it surely will have bugs, but that one can be refined and get better whereas today every year we let loose a new generation of unskilled teens on the road.

Perhaps the best analogy is healthcare, you know those life-and-death situations you'd think keep everyone on their toes constantly. Well, nurses and doctors are humans too and they make mistakes, not often but they do. Electronic systems that make sure people always get the right medication in the right dosage at the right time, that they don't get dangerous combinations or medicines they're allergic to has helped save lives. Start counting the times the system corrects the nurses versus the times the nurses corrects the system and you'll find out who is actually the more important part of the two.

And that's why I think computer driven cars will win out in the end, they will always stick to protocol. They'll obey all speed limits, keep distance to those in front, always change lanes cleanly, always signal, always yield, always drive defensively and eventually all the accidents that don't happen because a human was tired or angry or sloppy or fiddling with the radio or his phone or whatnot will outperform the "creative" thinking capability of humans. Our ability to make good split-second decisions in an emergency situation is overrated, not to mention the choices are rather limited to break, turn and possibly in a few situations give gas. Many people panic and actually make it worse than just slamming the brakes.

I expect these cars also will have the ability to record near-accidents which you can use for analysis, you don't actually have to have an accident. Here we just managed to perform an emergency brake for a pedestrian who suddenly walked out into the road, could we have done better? Was our response optimal given the data we had? I see a whole new level of preventive improvement possible here. There's no significant learning for me from having one incident every decade, but if you can collect thousands of situations from millions of drivers it can learn to handle the 0.01% situations that we never have any training for or guidelines for what to do.

Re:Google Beta (2)

giorgist (1208992) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922865)

Aren't all cars computer controlled to some level. What is fly by wire ? There is GPS, obstacle avoidance ... What about Volvos embarrassing video

Effectively creating a moral hazard where people will less likely to be be careful in how they drive or walk.

Pedestrian Detection with Full Auto Brake
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voz4dosVGSM

But in the first demo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6ZwS9izm4E

Re:Google Beta (1)

galluk (246927) | more than 2 years ago | (#39923099)

I wonder who's going to be immortalised as the first person to be killed by a computer-controlled car?

John Connor?

Re:Google Beta (3)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921541)

Having seen the way most humans drive, I trust the Google'mobile much more than my bio-brethren.

Re:Google Beta (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921867)

Having seen the way most humans drive, I trust the Google'mobile much more than my bio-brethren.

Uh, yeah, wait until version 3 before you put that much faith behind it.

Re:Google Beta (4, Informative)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922025)

What version do you think it's in currently? They've they've clocked nearly 150k miles on this system. For reference, that's over 50 trips from San Fran to NY, NY.

Or if you'd prefer, about 20 complete laps around the perimeter of the lower 48.

Re:Google Beta (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922157)

And so you think it'll have exactly the same track record when there's a million of these on the road?

Re:Google Beta (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922803)

150k miles, they say, under conditions we don't know but they controlled.

Re:Google Beta (-1, Flamebait)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921909)

Thankfully those aren't the only choices we're going to get. Other more trustworthy companies will also be developing driverless car systems.

Re:Google Beta (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921601)

With Google's insistence to label pretty much all of their projects as "beta" to avoid liability

"Beta" has no direct effect on legal liability. It mainly exists to manage customer expectations about feature stability and functionality.

And, anyway, its not something they do that much anymore.

Plus, posting a $1 million bond liability bond is a strange thing to do to "avoid liability".

On top of this we can think about Google's history of privacy violations. It's obvious they are trying to gain something from this

I think there are lots of really obvious ways you could "gain something" from driverless vehicle technology that don't involve privacy violations.

Starting with licensing driverless vehicle technology to vehicle manufacturers.

I was already shocked when I read about Google Goggles and the way the device works.

Google Goggles isn't a device at all, its software that's available for various devices.

It doesn't process the image on the device itself but instead sends it to Google's servers.

Uh, yeah, it advertises itself as an image-based version of search. Next thing you are going to be surprised that the Google Search app doesn't do the search locally on your device, but sends the search terms to Google's servers.

Combined with Google's facial recognition technology and patent, Google Goggles will give the company outstanding amount of living world and meatspace data.

"living world" and "meatspace" are the same thing.

And it would give them the same amount of information as with the facial recognition technology without the patent, which is a red herring.

Now I can only guess that Google is trying to expand their privacy violations to roads, driving habits and your everyday life.

So? Aside from revealing your personal biases, what value do you think your unsubstantiated guess in this area provides?

Re:Google Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921943)

Pretty sure the GP meant Project Glass [wikipedia.org] , not Google Googles.

Re:Google Beta (2)

MrMista_B (891430) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921651)

And what, exactly, makes you think you have any privacy, or expectation of any privacy, on public roads?

Re:Google Beta (2)

ChatHuant (801522) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921825)

And what, exactly, makes you think you have any privacy, or expectation of any privacy, on public roads?

I think the answer has already been given by the SCOTUS in the warrantless GPS tracking case: see here [wired.com] for details. The SCOTUS decided that, even though drivers used public roads, the amount of tracking the police was doing was orders of magnitude above the normal expectation for a public place, both in individual tracking and in the sheer number of trackers that could be active simultaneously. Of course, the decision in this case applies to governments, but I believe the same arguments work identically for the Google car.

Re:Google Beta (2)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922201)

What answer? Attaching devices to your car was obviously illegal! How about the real problem: plate readers, which can easily achieve total surveillance of road traffic. But a ruling against those would raise questions about the millions of other government cameras monitoring the public. And at this point questioning those is simply not going to be allowed.

Re:Google Beta (2)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922485)

except gps is probably an integral part of the nav system of the driverless cars, and to avoid and anti privacy claims to use the car it will probably have clause in what ever you sign when you buy the car that you accept their tracking you.

Re:Google Beta (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39923043)

to avoid and anti privacy claims to use the car it will probably have clause in what ever you sign when you buy the car that you accept their tracking you.

While likely true, that doesn't immunize google, or anyone else, from criticism for doing it.

Re:Google Beta (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39923157)

and if it is an industry standard to require it than they will be the same as everyone else so critising them would be pointless

Re:Google Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39923201)

and if it is an industry standard to require it than they will be the same as everyone else so critising them would be pointless

(A) No it wouldn't. Just because everybody else is jumping off the bridge doesn't mean you have to agree to jump too.
(B) There is no industry for driverless cars yet.

Re:Google Beta (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921669)

Go away you fucking worthless shill. People like you should be shot.

Re:Google Beta (2)

joggle (594025) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921727)

Google has been testing fully autonomous cars in the Bay area for years without any incidents. I would hardly call it 'beta' in the sense of beta software. There's also a requirement that two people be in the car while it's running. It's not as if Google will let hundreds of these cars out on the streets of Nevada with nobody inside to stop them. Not only will Google have $1 million in liability coverage, the lives of two of their own employees per vehicle will be on the line. I'm not too worried about them getting in accidents (at least not of their own fault).

Re:Google Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921761)

you do realize that it's not even possible to do the processing on the Goggles, right?

Hi bonch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921783)

Gotta get paid!

Re:Google Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921807)

It's not as beta as you think. The google car has already completed 200,000 miles without accident.

Re:Google Beta (2)

Bucky24 (1943328) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921865)

Considering how people drive around here I can't see how a driverless car can be any worse...

Re:Google Beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921999)

Where have I seen uids just [slashdot.org] like [slashdot.org] yours?

Re:Google Beta (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922119)

Slashdot's under attack from the shills!

http://slashdot.org/~Katakee (#2632925)
http://slashdot.org/~Katakaa (#2632969)
http://slashdot.org/~Vectone (#2633883)

Re:Google Beta (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922245)

I would have thought you were a shill, until I heard this was managed by the same system that is managing google voice. Even computers should not be texting while driving.

(Disclaimer: I did not hear that. It was a lame joke.)

2 people (4, Interesting)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921353)

TFA fails to mention why two people are required in the test vehicle. I can understand having a "driver" that can take over if something goes wrong, but what is the purpose of the 2nd person?

Re:2 people (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921413)

In case the driver gets taken out by the car going rogue. Duh!

Re:2 people (0)

Vectone (2633883) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921599)

Or Google employee going nuts [gawker.com] and remotely killing all the people in the car.

Re:2 people (4, Informative)

cosm (1072588) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921433)

TFA fails to mention why two people are required in the test vehicle. I can understand having a "driver" that can take over if something goes wrong, but what is the purpose of the 2nd person?

To hold the driver's beer. It's Nevada, common now...

Re:2 people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921459)

perhaps some one can be fiddling with the laptop/testing code and stuff, while the other keeps his eyes on the road to take over if something goes wrong.

Re:2 people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921521)

It's simple.

The second person is there to unholster their sidearm, place it against the head of the person in the driver's seat, and shoot them, if they prove to be a Cylon in collusion with the car.

Re:2 people (1)

sideslash (1865434) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921581)

Probably for the same reason airliners have two pilots -- so the first guy doesn't just turn on autopilot and go to sleep.

Re:2 people (5, Insightful)

joggle (594025) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921745)

My guess is because the license will be granted with the understanding that it's a research vehicle. Someone will likely want to be closely monitoring the output of the car's instruments, so this insures one guy can do that while the other focuses on the road.

If there wasn't this requirement, one guy could conceivably monitor the instruments and not pay attention to the road since the car is driving itself.

Re:2 people (1)

Radak (126696) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921837)

It's because the real purpose of the vehicle is to drive around and show off to everyone that guy who uses Google Plus.

Re:2 people (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922257)

The second person sits rearward of the driver position, and makes observations of the appropriateness of the vehicular manoeuvres made by the robot driver. This observer's commentary, suggestions, and criticisms will be applied in real-time to improve the performance of the robot driver.

Re:2 people (2, Funny)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922305)

Creating two new jobs for every single one lost. This sounds like this would be the work of some of very forward-looking Teamsters.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921357)

No guy with a red flag in front - wont someone think of the children!

Get them to fly (1)

gottspeed (2060872) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921389)

If they could just make them fly then I'd get one tomorrow. /Tired of traffic

If only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39921471)

If only they got a Java license too!

Re:If only... (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921529)

Don't worry. Uncle Larry has the lawyers working overtime trying to figure out how to sue Google for this.

Can you still get a DUI with a self-driving car? (1)

Kergan (780543) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921619)

Further, the car must have two people at all times, with one behind the wheel who can take control of the vehicle if needed.

I can just picture the epic scene... Drunkard has his car drive him home while he snoozes. And gets arrested for sleeping at the wheel. Would that count as a DUI?

Re:Can you still get a DUI with a self-driving car (1)

jxander (2605655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921735)

I imagine that if this tech ever becomes mainstream, and whole slew of new laws will have to be put in place. From sleeping/drinking at the wheel, to the current ban on cell phones in most states.

If anything, I'd suspect that sleeping, drinking and anything else that incapacitates you will still be illegal, but anything from which you could recover quickly (talking, texting, reading, etc) would be allowed, with provisions for "in case of emergency, drop the phone and drive manually."

Re:Can you still get a DUI with a self-driving car (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922717)

As long as you carry a million dollar insurance bond? Somehow I don't think that will cut it. New business opportunity, instead of itinerants washing peoples car windows they can offer to drive them to a location of the vehicle owners choice.

No extra insurance, use cell phone, sleep and, drink what ever you like. Now a lot of itinerants have mobile phones, as it is their only hope of getting any kind of work, so web site to book cleaner drivers at specific locations and specific times and minimum wage auto drive is achieved.

Re:Can you still get a DUI with a self-driving car (1)

White Flame (1074973) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922825)

As long as you carry a million dollar insurance bond? Somehow I don't think that will cut it

That bond, and this licensing for the car, is only for *testing* autonomous vehicles on public roads. AFAIK, there is no licensing for non-testing common purposes yet.

Re:Can you still get a DUI with a self-driving car (2)

Randle_Revar (229304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922931)

Generally, an emergency would be that last time you should take over. A production quality auto-driving car is going to be better at handling an emergency than 90% of people. And many emergencies can happen to fast for a human to change focus like that.

They should test it where I live (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921671)

Here, cars might as well be driverless as a staggering fraction of the drivers should never be licensed any ways. I figure the driverless car is likely a lot less likely to cause the kind of traffic accidents that are caused here every day by the ones with drivers in them, and also less likely to injure me or any actual skilled driver either.

Re:They should test it where I live (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 2 years ago | (#39923407)

Here, cars might as well be driverless as a staggering fraction of the drivers should never be licensed any ways

Don't you see? That's exactly why they're testing it in Nevada. If the autonomous pilot goes rogue and decides to randomly smash up things and mow down pedestrians, the only way you'd possibly know it from a typical human driver is the robot is sure to know how to activate the turn signals.

Bad headline (3, Informative)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921701)

Google Gets Driverless License For Nevada Roads

1. It is not driverless as there has to be a driver behind the wheel at all times.
2. From the term "driverless license" it seems that they are comparing it to a "driver's license" which is not true. What is actually being issued is an "autonomous testing business license and license plates:.

It is a license to test autonomous vehicle under very strict guidelines.
A much better headline would have been "Google gets license to test autonomous vehicles on Nevada roads"; less flashy but much more accurate

Very cool (2)

GeneralTurgidson (2464452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39921903)

Congrats to Google and Nevada for getting this going.

I Have Control (?) (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922015)

Human: "Holy crap! Computer! You're driving in the oncoming lane!"
Computer: ...
Human: "Stop! Abort! Cancel! Computer -- release your controls!"
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What next? (4, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922053)

First a horseless carriage, now a driver-less car?

Next thing you know there will be a box that just sits in front of you, with a window to the world!

Re:What next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39922621)

Something like that...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vqu9NuINKbc

It's "self-driving" (1)

MDMurphy (208495) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922155)

As the sign on the back of the vehicle in the article shows it's "self driving". This is not as driverless or autonomous as has been applied to airplanes up till now. If / when cars like these are available to purchase, that's a big difference. This is essentially autopilot, though a pretty advanced one with collision avoidance. Airplanes have had autopilot for decades now, and they are viewed very differently from AUVs or drones.

The State of Nevada does refer to them as autonomous though. The requirement for two people though makes them far from driverless. The NV DMV site says that when these sort of cars are available for public use that motorists will need a special endorsement for their drivers license.

How long until... (1)

jmerlin (1010641) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922317)

How long until Google decides all of the self-driving cars they've tested and people have used for 7 years with no problems need a massive overhaul and they decide to completely re-do the API interface unnecessarily, completely breaking usability for everyone, causing the cars to be impractically difficult to use and resulting in possible accidents?

Given Google's track record with the new GMail interface change, I can't say I'd be comfortable sitting in a car running their software, ever. You just don't change software that's business-critical willy nilly like that. You just don't. Ever.

Big red bumper stickers (0)

Centurix (249778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922365)

+1 my driving!

Add me to your autonomous driving roundabouts!

My internet is a series of tunnels!

Driver closer, I'm feeling lucky!

Do a barrel roll!

To paraphrase the old line (1)

fustakrakich (1673220) | more than 2 years ago | (#39922775)

It should have one person and a dog... The dog is to bite the driver's hands if he ever reaches for the steering wheel.

What is the point of a driverless car? (1)

Ashbory (781835) | more than 2 years ago | (#39923433)

I am all for automating stuff that can help you while driving, but what is the point of a driver-less car? If it is for safety, I don't see it working. What does the car do when it doesn't know what to do? Just stop? - that might be the worst choice. You would have to change the road infrastructure completely, and at that point it would probably be safer to not allow human drivers.
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