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Nevada gives Google (test) license to drive self-driving cars

May 09, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • Nevada issued a license plate -- red with the infinity symbol -- for the first test license issued to Google for a self-driving car.
Nevada issued a license plate -- red with the infinity symbol -- for the first… (Nevada Department of Motor…)

Imagine flying into Las Vegas and renting a self-driving car that zips you around the Strip and anywhere else you want to go? That fantasy may not be so far off.

Nevada just issued the first autonomous vehicle testing license in the U.S. to Google. The state's  Department of Motor Vehicles announced Monday that the adapted Prius developed by Google in 2010 was tested on freeways, in neighborhoods around Carson City and even on the Las Vegas Strip before the license was granted. The license plate will have a red background and an infinity symbol on the left side.

"I felt using the infinity symbol was the best way to represent the 'car of the future,' " DMV Director Bruce Breslow said in a statement Monday.

Nevada in June had written rules governing autonomous vehicles after the state passed pioneering legislation to authorize the cars. Here's what L.A. Times reporter Tiffany Hsu wrote at the time:

"A driverless car is defined by the bill as using 'artificial intelligence, sensors and global positioning system coordinates to drive itself without the active intervention of a human operator.' That includes technology such as lasers, cameras and radar."

Self-driving cars logged more than 140,000 miles in California in Google testing, the story said.

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