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Tech-Ghost Riding Now Legal in Nevada

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On: Fri, Jul 1, 2011 at 9:57AM | By: Chris Weiss


Tech-Ghost Riding Now Legal in Nevada

Not only can you play every betting game known to man and have relations with a street walker in the same night in Nevada, now you can legally ghost ride. Okay, it's not exactly classic ghost riding where you climb out of a moving car and dance like a fool on the hood or roof, but the effect is the same: empty driver's seat, moving car. After some hard lobbying by Google, the Nevada state legislature passed Bill 511, which legalizes certain self-driven cars on roadways. Google will now be able to test its fleet of advanced, autonomous cars.

Google believes that autonomous vehicle—which navigate using GPS, laser range finders, and video cameras—will be safer and more fuel efficient in the long run. Actual production cars that can drive themselves remain a long way off, but this new legal effort will help Google to test and fine tune its fleet of cars, which is made up of technologically equipped Toyota Prii and Audi TTs.

Google won't be able to hit Nevada's lonely desert roads running just yet—the bill calls upon the Nevada Department of Transportation to develop rules and regulations for self-driven vehicles. The department will decide where the cars can be tested and what safety and performance standards the cars must meet. The bill goes into effect in March of next year, so there's stil some time before Google begins driving its robotic four-wheelers around Nevada highways.

Google is also hoping to push a texting-while-driving exemption through the legislature. This measure would ensure that the emergency driver who occupies the driving seat at all times is able to send text messages while in the car, something that will be important to the research and development process.

Other companies, including Volkswagen, have been developing automated-vehicle technology, so this legal breakthrough should go beyond just Google.




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