Posted May 11, 2011 02:11 pm CDT
Google is taking another step in its effort to develop and market driverless cars by lobbying the state of Nevada to allow the vehicles.
Two Google-backed bills are being introduced in the state legislature, the New York Times reports. One would authorize for licensing and testing of the autonomous cars. The other allows people to text while behind the wheel in the vehicles. Still, the driverless cars “raise thorny questions about safety and liability,” the story says.
Google acknowledged last October that seven of the autonomous cars had been test driven a total of 140,000 miles in California. Humans inside could override any errors.
The Google project is headed by a former Stanford professor, Sebastian Thrun, who says driverless cars could facilitate car sharing and save energy, the Times says. “What if I could take out my phone and say, ‘Zipcar, come here,’ ” he asked a conference last year, “and a moment later the Zipcar came around the corner?”