CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Nevada is envisioning a day when taxicabs might shuttle fares without a driver, or people with medical conditions that make them ineligible for a license could get around with a virtual chauffeur.

The concept took a big step when Nevada became the first state to approve regulations that spell out requirements for companies to test driverless cars on state roads.

“Then they have to take us out and prove that they can do it,” Bruce Breslow, director of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, said of the autonomous vehicles. “They’re not ready to go to market yet.”

But Nevada intends to be ready when they are, and officials hope to stay ahead of other states such as Florida and Hawaii that are considering similar testing regulations, Breslow said.

Gov. Brian Sandoval took a test ride in a self-driving Toyota Prius in July. The car being developed by Google Inc. uses radar, sensors and computers that allow the vehicle to drive itself, though human drivers can override the autopilot function.

Companies that want to conduct testing in Nevada will need a bond of $1 million to $3 million, depending on the number of cars they plan to test. Firms also must lay out their specific intentions, such as testing a vehicle on urban roadways, or its ability to operate in the fog, rain or snow, and provide testing data to the state.

The cars must have two people in them at all times, with one able to take control. The new regulations approved last week also require companies to detail license requirements for people to operate them when they become available.

Cars must be equipped with separate data collectors — similar to the “black box” on an aircraft — that will “capture and store the autonomous technology sensor data for at least 30 seconds before a collision.”

The regulations go beyond testing procedures, anticipating the day when driverless cars become a reality on highways.

If a vehicle is certified as capable of being driven in autonomous mode without a driver, a person can operate the vehicle “without being physically present,” one provision says.

Whether there’s a human driver or not, the regulations hold the operator responsible regardless of whether the person is physically present in the autonomous vehicle.

The only exception to traffic laws is texting or talking on a hand-held cellphone. A law passed by legislators last year to ban texting while driving included a specific exemption for operators of self-driving cars on autopilot.

But the vehicles won’t be a substitute for a designated driver after a night on the town, Breslow said.

“There is no exemption for drinking and driving,” he said.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (82)
  1. Tomas says:

    Let us know, after the first accident happens, who do we sue? The passenger, the manufacturer or the insane politicians who allowed this..

    1. bet says:

      I think its fine that government allowed this, I just think its going to be a huge liability for the manufacturer.

      1. Ryan says:

        Can you drink beer while it is driving you? My other question is, if it runs off GPS how long will it be till it drives somebody off a cliff.

    2. Midge Martin says:

      Looks as if they will double as a coffin too. Crush and bury.


      1. NoMoreFreedom says:

        So much of the news is being orchestrated by unelected officials after the coup and cover up. There is no democracy or freedom of press. Just one Psy-ops story after another.

        The biggest cover up in history starts here. Learn why Sarah Palin was planted in the last election to LOSE.

    3. Kurtiss says:

      The passenger, who should have overridden the autopilot. But it’ll reduce accidents overall because the electronics won’t get distracted putting on makeup or texting. Since the roads will be overall safer, the manufacturers should be held liable only if a defect is proven.

      1. Yectli says:

        :Almost all I can point out is, I’m not sure what to say! Except naturally, for the mnaziag tips which are shared using this blog. I am able to think of a thousand fun ways to read the articles on this site. There’s no doubt that I will at last take action using your tips on that matter I could not have been able to take care of alone. You were so considerate to let me be one of those to profit from your useful information. Please recognize how great I enjoy the whole thing.

    4. Jim says:

      One this technology is perfected, I believe you will see a 95% reduction in accidents and there could be a defined scale of what is paid out in the case of an accident. Insurance rates will plummet because much, much less is being paid out in claims. The only bump I see in this road is those blood-sucking pos trial lawyers who claim to be “for the people” yet really just care about their 35% of an insanely huge settlement. They are leeches on society.

      1. BytraWatches says:

        Their 35% share??? I thought that was long gone since most lawyers now want their 40% share… where have you been my boy???

    5. Bob Boogie says:

      The passenger or the person ‘controling’ the car will be responsible, even if they are not in the car. A person will always be held responsible.

  2. julie says:

    Let Harry Reid be the First Casualty !

  3. Bryan says:

    I have an idea! Let’s put some rails down for the cars to follow, and hook a bunch of them together. Then we can just charge people per ride. Sounds like something we should have thought of 100 years ago.

    1. Tedd says:

      Good one.

      The reality, of course, is that the era of mass transit is drawing to a close, to be replaced by micro transit. If you don’t believe me, not problem, just wait.

  4. Kevin says:

    How could you charge someone with drinking and driving when they aren’t driving? Seems pretty dumb to me.

    1. Bob Boogie says:

      because at least one passenger is supposed to be sober enough to take control when necessary. One passenger will always be responsible for the car, no matter what.

      1. NC says:

        So why do they require TWO people to be in the car when riding it at all times? Isn’t one more than enough?

  5. btruth says:

    I love the obvious “track & control” society around me. All manner of gadgets & technology, directly created from the military industrial academic complex, to help in the banking mafia’s slow take over, Fabian socialist style.
    The stasi of east germany would be beside themselves on how easy it was to dupe the populace into letting a police state gather all manner of intelligence on you while you use facebook & cell phones etc. When the time comes to role you all up, they’ll know where, when & how to place you into a FEMA/death camp.
    Oh, wait the homeland security/NORTHCOM is the new east german stasi & they are beside themselves.

  6. Ryan says:

    We are getting on step closer to skynet. Prepare for the end of the world folks because it is going down quicker than Paris Hilton on prom night.

    1. mcw1142 says:

      This is skynet – we read what you wrote puny human – you’re on our list.

    2. halmccombs says:

      you’re just here to sell your blog. If no one cares by now, they never will. Same for those other two with links. SOMEONE PLEASE BAN THESE PEOPLE!

  7. Dan S. says:

    IF the self-driving cars really work, then people who have been drinking should be able to use them. Presumably, that is not permitted now simply because these cars are still in the testing stage.

    One thing that concerns me is the mention of “radar” as one of the technologies used. We need to be wary of further increases in the level of electromagnetic energy in the air, especially at microwave frequencies. Hopefully, the radar transmissions are not used for a significant portion of the time, and are not aimed where people will be likely to absorb the energy. If they are, the health effects of that need to be looked at very carefully before such things are allowed to become ubiquitous.

    1. Jerry gregoire says:

      We live in a sea of electromagnetic emissions with the biggest source being the sun.

    2. Travis W says:

      Got take a look at Google’s autonomous car that has been driving in CA for many years now successfully. It actually uses tons of lasers for tracking I believe, no radar. Pretty cool.

  8. slipperyslope says:

    Hey folks did you not read the liability stament
    “Whether there’s a human driver or not, the regulations hold the operator responsible regardless of whether the person is physically present in the autonomous vehicle.”

    Remote accident, operator pays

  9. JG says:

    Welcome to the first fully automated car! This is your driver and computer speaking to you. While you may have some hesitation about riding in this fully computerized vehicle without a human driver, we want to assure you that everything has been carefully programmed and nothing can possibly go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go . . . .

  10. david cox says:

    Will our grandchildren love their “brave” new world or will they despise us for letting government regulated technologies completely remove all independence from each individual? …Or will the sustainability Nazis find ways to so reduce the population that the few “Eloi” that remain are indifferent or even grateful to their “Morlock” overlords?! –Reference The Time Machine, HG Wells.

  11. Verm says:

    time to brush off my hacking notebooks and get up to speed.

    Hacking into and taking over someone’s car will be the new “entertainment” for bored kids.

    1. NC says:

      HAHAHA!!! I know it. Everyday, a new car will be stolen faster than it is today. Ever notice how the older machines (in the early and mid 20th century) were difficult to break into but now (with wonderful advances in computer technology), machines are more easier to break into and steal? Kinda makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Like maybe they want people to easily break into them so that they will force the operators to pay more for insurance, repairs and new ones. Just like Cars, computers and anything else mechanical or electronical. Why else can we not have a car that lasts a life time or a computer that lasts a lifetime? It’s been clearly stated by many sources in the car manufacturing companies that they could develop a car that can last 20 years or more but they don’t want that because after they sold them to everyone, they would be out of business. Just like selling a new version of Windows or Norton Antivirus or TurboTax. They can easily upload a cheap update but that would mean they would lose money. Boo whoo….Corporations control the world, people.

  12. david cox says:

    Oh yeah, Loved what Bryan said above!

  13. Dan says:

    It’ll be great. Period. I wish I had one now. Kick back etc. Nice. And demonstrably safer. Why are people worried. Its the next great futuristic thing, like GPS, computers and internet etc.

  14. tina says:

    Harry Reid must be lining his pockets again. He needs a speedy trial by the people.

  15. M Letourneau says:

    I don’t see a single comment here supporting this stupid idea, EVERYONE KNOWS THIS IS A BAD IDEA! WHY CAN’T WE STOP THESE PEOPLE??

    How do we let “these people” know we, their bosses, don’t support this?!?

    Why don’t I know who made this decision so I know who not to vote for? Who to write a letter to? These agenda 21 idiots trying to sell us this little gem for our benefit when it is just the means to control where we go, what we do, and what we’ll never do again.

    I’m so sick of this.

    1. GotMullet? says:

      Dude…. It’s Google. Trust ’em.

    2. Tedd says:

      For what it’s worth, I think it’s a fantastic idea. Autonomous vehicles and micro transport are the future of land-based transportation. It’s going to be a huge improvement in almost every way over what we have now.

      Those who are concerned about being tracked have a legitimate point, but the reality is that by the time autonomous vehicles become common you’ll be tracked in your manually-driven car everywhere you go, too. So, yes that’s a problem, but no it’s not an argument against autonomous vehicles.

  16. Al Cinamon says:

    Am I missing something here. A self-driving car without a physical presence? Why would someone want their car to go some where without them being in it.?

    1. Ron says:

      TO deliver a package to grandmas house what else. Or a car bomb….

      1. GotMullet? says:

        Good point.

      2. NC says:

        A car bomb seems more practical at this point.

  17. jim says:

    Over time passenger vehicles on land, sea, and air will all work without human intervention. In fact in the future people will be horrified that people actually controlled vehicles themselves. I can actually invision a time where most surgery is done by a robot. Years ago we had people operating elevators in buildings and now everyone of those jobs have disappeared.

    1. Bob Boogie says:

      You invision Star Wars.

    2. Tedd says:

      Jim’s right. It’s difficult to predict how something like this will play out, but one likely scenario is that once people realize that autonomous cars will never drive drunk, or angry, never be aggressive, rude, or inconsiderate, never act irresponsibly, and rarely fail, they’ll demand that manual driving be banned.

      I love cars and I love driving, but autonomous vehicles offer so many benefits that we’d be foolish not to adopt them. Nor will we likely have a practical choice; once some countries start to adopt them the economic benefits will be so great that any country not going along will be left in the dust.

    3. Kamil says:

      You didn’t answer the aistnpam question correctly, your comment was not saved. Press “Back” and answer the question better.Just to be sure that your message won’t be lost – copy it now to the clipboard. 搞得我很紧张来着.. 特地来留言测试一下下….果然..是啥子插件啊?压根都木有问题出来

  18. coolit10 says:

    I think on long distances, coast to coast or way north to south loaded trains/Amtrac coaches with bar and nightcliub cars would be safer and way more econoimical put the cars on car haulers.. Good sleeping coaches. night cliubs,gambling, etc. Sports bars. It will take longer but who cares if you having fun. hot tub on the roof, no guns. Strip clubs off shore owners. Jack Abramoff used to do this stuff outside in international waters made a fortune , no cops, he got pinched on slightly related beef, some the paper he was using ended being fishing. But just think of the contacts and the secrets.I am looking for investors. Basically, in the gulf off shore maybe a week at a time. Keep it clean until we are in the Gulf.


  19. Bubba says:

    Another limit on the mobility of the American People. What will you do when the autopilot refuses to take you to your specified destination? With a limit on mobility comes a limit of freedom.

  20. Real Rick says:

    Put Nevada’s own elected idiot Hare-brained Reid in the first one. Hackers get ready to crash the first one please!

  21. tyrone says:

    what happens when a computer self driven car is texting?

  22. GotMullet? says:

    Imagine that…. the car can get Great Aunt Minnie to the doctor or grocery store, but, the car is NOT allowed to get you home after you’ve knocked back a few at the Billies Pub? It seems like they’re going about this wrong.

  23. chad says:

    Once most cars on the road are driven by computers the car accident rate will go way down. Why is everyone so close minded and afraid of technology?? Can’t wait until a couple generations finally die off!

    1. Less1leg says:

      nobody is afraid of technology. People relinquishing ownership skills to a man made device had better think twice. Who exactly is responsible for the next “reality TV show” called Self-driving Cars Go Wild.
      Once you take the backseat and turn over driving to the Self Driving Car, and that car does what good man made devices do, fail. Who is going to pay for the damages.
      We live in a court driven world of “who pays”. And in the case of turning over your driving ownership responsibilities I can see this coming a mile away. Your Honor, how can I be held responsible for the safe travel of this Self Driving Car when manufacturing error caused this vehicle to fail and kill this young girl riding her bike.

    2. NC says:

      Chad, get an education, you sheeple! I can’t wait until a couple of generations of YOU die off, so we can get some people with REAL intelligence back in the world again.

  24. Htos1 says:

    That’s gonna happen about as fast as fliying cars,look it up,and we dhimmicrats now.

  25. That Strange Guy says:

    Google’s Self driving car is ALL READY 100 percent crash proof. Insurance companies realize that there is no money to be made from insuring cars that are never at fault in a crash. Gee, big surprise government is trying to suppress this technology and put the squeeze on entrepreneurs.

  26. M 1 says:

    The irony is that the Google Maps representation of Vegas is so inaccurate it’s almost useless. You’d think they could at least get the handful of gigantic casinos right, but no, they’re completely mixed up.

    For those of you fretting that Google is some secret evil collective out to eat your babies and steal your gold, you should first wonder how they’ll accomplish this world-domination if they can’t even pin down the location of a 65-acre hotel.

    There are no grand conspiracies. You give governments and large corporations entirely too much credit for being well organized.

  27. Mike Sweeney says:

    Hey! No more high speed chases. The cops will just take over control of your vehicle and have it drive you to the nearest police station.

    All future robberies will have to take place on bicycles….

    (and no more traffic tix– the car will just deduct it directly from you checking account when you drive too fast. Oh… the possibilities are endless!)

  28. Mitch Rapp says:

    I betcha the Nevada Politicians exempted themselves from all laiabiklity for accidents, deaths and runaway vehicles

  29. L1342 says:

    Great for epileptics !!!!!!!

  30. New Canaan CT Independent says:

    The state’s economy is on the balls of its ass and the state government is spending time writing rules for driver-less cars that are off in the future?

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    Theoretically fixing future problems while today’s problems go unaddressed and avoided……………..there’s nor right or wrong….only theory.

    Nevada has become a microcosm of Obama’s America………..all theory and grandiose talk…………no action or accountability…….. forget about fiscal responsibility…..payday loans for everybody!

    What ****ing pant and panty loads.

    1. A True Republican says:

      Nevada has a Republican Governor. And this Republican Governor has had the support of past Prez Bush (a Republican) and Prez “hopeful” Willard Romney, because of his “Republican Ideals.” But you know this, you were just being funny by blaming a Demo Prez for Nevada acting in its own best interest. Haha! Good one!

      (This was just an explanation for those who might not be aware of the Nevada politics. Or politics in general.)

  31. Greg says:

    Exactly. This will seem like the dark ages once we have self-driving cars. Automobile deaths will plummet and congestion will dramatically decrease (humans are terrible drivings, anyone disagree?). And all of the cars will have a manual override so you can still do anything you want with the car. No one who is afraid of this idea has provided any actual REASONS why, just generic references to a brave new world or 1984. This has literally nothing to do with government control. It’s a great technological innovation from the free market, like automobiles were in the first place.

    1. NC says:

      Greg, who controls the car? Who has access to GPS? Who can see what you are doing in the car and with all of the checkpoints going on, they will check to see if you are drinking even though you are NOT driving. What happens when the computer goes haywire and causes an accident? The operator is liable? Pathetic. So now they will outlaw REAL drivers and phase them out like they do with everything else and people will be forced to ride and pay hefty fees for something they could carealess for. There’s an old saying, “If it ain’t broke, DON’T FIX IT!!”

      1. Tedd says:

        But it is broken:

        * tens of thousands of deaths each year
        * hundreds of thousands of injuries each year
        * needless congestion (and the pollution that goes along with it)
        * constant expansion of police powers to try to deal with the above
        * constant erosion of civil rights to accommodate the police powers
        * staggering legal cost of trying to determine fault

        Autonomous vehicles will go a long way to solving each of these.

        Those who are concerned with civil rights a privacy should be viewing the autonomous vehicle as a chance to finally start down the right path. It’s way too late to fix the rights and privacy compromises we’ve made with manually-driven cars. But if we use our heads we can get it right with autonomous vehicles. Will we do that? Probably not, because so many of the people who think it matters are naysayers about the technology, and so will end up with little say in how it’s adopted.

  32. juyt says:

    technically this would be fine if the automatic car is at worst no better than a human and at best is perfect. My guess is that it will be a long time before anything feasible is produced at a scale where it can be made available on a wide basis. No need to worry right now.

  33. DH says:

    Robo-cars will quickly prove popular for many segments of the population, including:

     Senior citizens who are afraid of losing their mobility and independence
     Children who need a ride to and from school or soccer practice while their parents work
     People who are drunk or on drugs
     People who are handicapped, blind, epileptic, can’t drive at night, or have some other impairment
     Sick people on their way to doctor visits
     People with medical emergencies who can’t wait for an ambulance
     People who are too tired, upset, or distracted to drive safely
     People who get lots of tickets for speeding, running red lights, reckless driving, or accidents
     Parents who are anxious about their teens learning to drive, so they just buy them a robo-car
     People who want to text, talk on their phones, play computer games, watch TV, read a book or magazine, eat a meal, or even sleep during drive time
     People who want to put on makeup, style their hair, or shave on their way to work
     Students cramming for a test who want to make every minute count on their way to school
     People nervous about driving in bad weather (snow, ice, rain, wind)
     People who get road rage or have been the victims of road rage
     People who have trouble parallel parking
     People from foreign countries who can’t read our street signs or understand our traffic laws
     Anyone who’s ever had a screaming baby or misbehaving kids in the backseat but couldn’t tend to them because they were driving

    Also, envision this – you want to take a vacation somewhere 8-10 hours away. You leave home in the late evening, sleep in the car overnight, and wake up at your destination. As for gasoline – cars will eventually be able to stop at a gas station and fill themselves up, paying with an electronic debit, and you won’t even have to get out of the car.

    Google is proving that self-driving cars are a reality. This technology may be resisted at first by experienced drivers who want to stay in control of their cars, but as the younger generation grows up robo-cars will seem perfectly normal. In time it will probably even be illegal for a human to operate a car on a public road except in case of emergency. Driving a car will be a lost art. How many people do you know who can drive a horse and buggy, or even just ride a horse well?

    1. GotMullet? says:

      Wow….. so futuristic! Electric cars are a good idea too?

    2. NC says:

      Dude, you’re such a sheeple. Go back to La La Land. These cars are no good for anyone. PERIOD! More corporate government control and more freedoms taken away. I’d rather drive myself than to have some computer do it for me. Part of the enjoyment of being in a car is TAKING CONTROL OF IT. Now the corporations are trying to further TAKE CONTROL OF OUR LIVES!! I’m sorry, but like corporations, I am a human being too. I am older enough to make my own damn decisions without Mommy and Daddy telling me what’s good for me. Grow up, sheeple!!

      1. Tedd says:

        So, I take it when you drive your car you just go straight cross-country, and don’t both with all those pesky roads?

  34. bound2drift says:

    Computers are far better qualified than people to drive. Self driving cars have quietly logged 100s of thousands of miles on publis roads already, and guess how many accidents … zero. This is a new reality that is coming upon us very quickly, and we will all be better off for it.

    1. Less1leg says:

      What is the most truthful of all human made devices, none.
      there isn’t one man made device that hasn’t failed. Humans drive upteen millions of miles. And we get penalized when we make errors in driving. We pay insurance to be able to drive.
      When you relinquish your driving skills to a man made device, and that device fails its objective and kills someone. And man made devices fail with regularity. Who takes responsibility over the damages? The Driver, who relinquished his/her driving responsibility or the Maker of the Car, who has engineered the driving software intelligence?

    2. NC says:

      Dude, you are such a sheeple. Computers are far better qualified than people to drive??? HAHAHAHAAHA!!! ROLMFAO!!! And you have experienced this first hand? Wow. Were you born yesterday? I (and I’m sure others) would also like to see your so called, “LOGGED 100” hours with “Zero” accidents. Our country really has raised a bunch of mindless fools if they believe this is beneficial for them.

  35. Less1leg says:

    we all know how unreliable man made devices are. And now we’ve created a car and now a government which will accept “Self Driving Cars”. Now if the truth comes out and proves itself on man made devices and failure.
    Who gets sued when this device fails and runs down a Grannie at the cross walk or piles into a bus drop-off and wipes out fifteen teenage kids waiting for a bus?
    Someone has to take the responsibility? If you have the human driver, we pay insurance for such accidents. We make laws to be applied to humans for failing all sorts of driving laws. But who is going to take responsibility when Self Driving Cars go haywire?

  36. Shaggy says:

    Now when somebody hacks into the computer system and causes a few hundred deaths all at once, who will we blame?

    1. NC says:

      EXACTLY, EXACTLY, EXACTLY!!!!! Mindless sheeple out there just don’t get and never will. These cars are dead on arrival.

  37. truth giver says:

    Run the Monorail out vto the airport and you’ll take better that half of the LV taxies off the road.

    That, if course, would be devastating for the middle peoplw who live here

  38. real take says:

    I had on of those “think for you cars” a few years ago

    It was called a Lexus 460 L. I dumped it.

    I now a gadget- free automobile.3 million miles driven in my life and 40 automobiles owned since 1950.

    No more nonsense with hi- techie cars !

  39. Solid Citizen says:

    Remotely driven taxi cabs? Another way to move more jobs off-shore.

    Johnny Cab anyone?

    Quo warranto, B.O.?

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