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Google-Equipped Toyota Prius Is First Car With Driver's License

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On: Thu, May 10, 2012 at 10:44AM | By: Chris Weiss

Google-Equipped Toyota Prius Is First Car With Driver's License

After passing a law opening the door for self-driven cars, the state of Nevada is following with the bureaucratic actions necessary to put those cars on the road. The state's Department of Motor Vehicles has approved the very first autonomous vehicle license. And the Google Toyota Prius in question is not happy with how its picture turned out.

In last year's bill, the Nevada legislature authorized the Department of Transportation to devise rules and regulations for autonomous vehicles. Google was one of the strongest supporters of the bills, as it sought to use Nevada roadways to test its fleet of self-driving Toyota Prii.

Nevada designated a red license plate for autonomous vehicles earlier this year, and now it's issued the first license. Before approving the license on Monday, DMV officials had driven in Google's autonomous car everywhere from the open highway to the Las Vegas Strip. The Department's Autonomous Review Committee then considered Google's safety plans, employee training and accident-reporting mechanisms.

While it doesn't sound like the DMV will issue a plastic license with a picture of the Prius' grille, it is printing up a business license for Google and making license plates for the test cars. As we previously reported, the autonomous vehicle license plates will be red during the testing phase. They'll also include an infinity symbol.

"I felt using the infinity symbol was the best way to represent the ‘car of the future.’" Department Director Bruce Breslow said in a statement. "The unique red plate will be easily recognized by the public and law enforcement and will be used only for licensed autonomous test vehicles. When there comes a time that vehicle manufactures market autonomous vehicles to the public, that infinity symbol will appear on a green license plate."

Google was the first company to apply for an autonomous vehicle license but others are expected to follow.


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