A Google Car Gets Pulled Over

Published on November 16, 2015 in News by Frédérick Boucher-Gaulin

We know that Google’s fleet of small autonomous vehicles have entered their test phase: if you are driving around California (more specifically near Silicon Valley), you are bound to see one of these unique little pod-like cars driving around urban centres.

A unique scene occurred last week, however, when one of the cars was pulled over! What could have prompted the policeman to stop an autonomous vehicle, which theoretically can’t do anything illegal?

It seems that the vehicle was a little too prudent. After seeing a long line of cars that seemed to be blocked by a slow driver up front, the officer saw a Google Car driving 24 mph in a 35-mph zone (or about 38 km/h in a 56-km/h zone). He asked the operator to pull over and talked with him for a few minutes, and then let him go.

It seems that Google voluntarily limits the speed of its autonomous cars to 25 miles per hour for safety reasons.

While this isn’t the first time a Google Car has been stopped by the police, its manufacturer is quite proud to say that since testing began, their vehicles have driven 1.2 million miles (around 1,931,213 kilometres) without getting a single ticket; most of the time, their cars are stopped simply because the officers are curious about them!

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