Mountain View, California – A weird situation occurred last Thursday in Mountain View, California, where the police stopped one of Google’s self-driving cars near the company’s headquarters for going too slow.
The vehicle was driving at 24 mph at a 35 mph zone, and was noticed by a traffic officer that saw traffic behind the vehicle. As California laws require it, a person was in the car ready to take control even though they are self-driven. Google announced that no fine was given to the vehicle, as no law was broken.
According to the Mountain View Police Department, the vehicle was driving within the law. This is one of the few incidents involved Google’s cars, which are carefully designed to drive with extreme caution.
“The officer stopped the car and made contact with the operators to learn more about how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways and to educate the operators about impeding traffic per 22400(a) of the California Vehicle Code,” the police said according to a press release on their official blog.
In response, Google wrote on the Google Plus page of the Self-driving Car Project that humans don’t get pulled over so often for driving too slowly. Also, they say that the vehicle drives at that speed for safety reasons, and that they want them to look “friendly and approachable.”
The company said that some people, like the police officer who pulled over the vehicle, just want to know a bit more about the project. Google also stated that they feel “proud” that they have never been ticketed yet, as these vehicles have the human equivalent of 90 years of driving experience.
Self-driving cars have been tested by Google since 2009, although the company hasn’t informed yet when the project will be commercially available. Along with Apple and Uber, Google is at the top of the companies developing these type of technologies.
They expect that these cars will reduce the number of traffic accidents as they will save people’s time, enabling a more productive society. The idea is to use them as a fleet of autonomous cars with the ability to pick up passengers and dropped them at any place.
Source: Mountain View Police