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Nevada lets Google's driverless car hit the open road, requires it to bring a driver


Driving through Las Vegas can be distracting -- bright lights, sun-powered death rays and international Consumer Electronics Shows have a tendency to catch a geek's eye -- good thing, then, that Nevada's deemed Google fit to test its autonomous automobile on public streets. The state's Department of Transportation was tasked with penning a set of safety standards for self-driving cars last June, and is now letting the cars run amok on city streets, with a few restrictions.

Mountain View's three test vehicles, for instance, will need to haul a carpool of at least two passengers before driving down the strip, one person to take the wheel in case of an emergency, and another to monitor a computer screen that details the car's planned route. Test vehicles will also don red license plates and an infinity symbol to mark them as self-driving prototypes. Nevada DMV Director Bruce Breslow says those plates will be green once the vehicles are ready for market, something he hopes to see in three to five years.