When they were first announced, many people worried about self-driving cars. Without the “human element,” they figured, these vehicles were bound to make lethal mistakes on the roadways. As soon as they hit the streets, however, those fears largely melted away. That’s because Google’s self-driving prototypes, at least for now, are far safer on the roads than human drivers. Maybe even a little bit…too safe?
With a top speed of 25-miles per hour, it’s best not to get stuck behind one on a single lane road. The vehicles can, of course, achieve a higher top speed. For safety reasons, however, both Google and the state of California agree it’s best to start slow. One local cop didn’t get the memo, it seems.
A Mountain View police officer noticed traffic was being impeded by one of the slow-moving self-driving prototypes. Knowing there was a safety driver (basically a babysitter for self-driving cars) inside, he decided to pull it over and give the safety driver a lesson in not impeding traffic.
The Google Self-Driving Car Project responded to the incident on their Google+ page, where they explained that the prototypes can only move at 25 mph during this phase of testing.
“We want them to feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighborhood streets,” the post reads.
“Like this officer, people sometimes flag us down when they want to know more about our project. After 1.2 million miles of autonomous driving (that’s the human equivalent of 90 years of driving experience), we’re proud to say we’ve never been ticketed!”
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