The state of Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles issued the nation’s first autonomously-driven vehicle license to Google Monday allowing the self-driven vehicle to operate on public roads, according to officials from Nevada’s DMV.
The Nevada legislature authorized self-driven cars for the state’s roads last year, becoming the first state in the nation to do so. That law went into effect on March 1, 2012.
The DMV licensed a Toyota Prius that Google modified with its experimental driver-less technology, developed by Stanford professor and Google Vice President Sebastian Thrun.
The self-driven cars rely on video cameras, radar sensors, lasers, and a database of information collected from manually driven cars to help navigate, according to the company. (See image below).
The department’s Autonomous Review Committee approved the application after officials rode in drive testing demonstrations along freeways, state highways and neighborhoods in Carson City, NV, and the busy Las Vegas Strip, and after reviewing Google’s safety plans, employee training, system functions and accident reporting mechanisms.
According to DMV officials, the committee is now creating the state’s first autonomous testing business license and license plates for the international company. For now, the public will still have to wait to obtain such a license, but DMV officials said the state plans to eventually license autonomous vehicles owned by the members of the public.
The license plates displayed on the test vehicle will have a red background and feature an infinity symbol on the left side.
Nevada DMV director Bruce Breslow said in a DMV statement that autonomously driven vehicles are the “car of the future.”
Legislation to regulate autonomous cars is being considered in other states, including Google’s home state of California, according to the company.