Traffic police pulls up Google’s smart car for slow driving

13 Nov 2015


Even AI cannot escape from the reach of the long arm of the law, Google discovered this week.

A Mountain View police officer issued the first "ticket" for a self-driving car. The officer pulled over one of Google's smart cars for moving too slowly!

The incident was snapped by Facebook user Zandr Milewski, who posted a picture of the incident on the social network.

Commenting on his post, Milewski said that he had ''talked to the driver'' of the self-driving car, presumably, the human sitting in the front seat.

He added, ''apparently MVPD [Mountain View Police Department] doesn't get NEVs [Neighborhood Electric Vehicles, a classification of vehicle that is limited to slower-moving roads] and pulled them over to ask why they were all going so slow.''

Confirming the the report with its own post on Google+, Google quipped,  ''Driving too slowly? Bet humans don't get pulled over for that too often.''

Due to their low speed, Google's smart cars could end up getting many tickets, because the as they can only drive 25 MPH. They had also been programmed to be extra-careful on the roads.

''Like this officer, people sometimes flag us down when they want to know more about our project,'' Google said. ''After 1.2 million miles of autonomous driving (that's the human equivalent of 90 years of driving experience), we're proud to say we've never been ticketed!''

Google explained in an online post that an officer noticed traffic backing up behind a self-driving car going 24 mph on a street with a 35 mph speed limit.

"As the officer approached the slow moving car he realized it was a Google Autonomous Vehicle," the police department said.

"In this case, it was lawful for the car to be traveling on the street."

Under California law autonomous cars can be driven on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or slower.

The officer did chat with the occupant of the car about impeding traffic, according to police.

"We want them to feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighborhood streets," Google said about the speed cap on its driverless cars.

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