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Nevada is getting serious about driverless cars

Amar Toor, @amartoo
February 17, 2012
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We were admittedly cynical last summer, when Nevada's state legislature passed a law regulating the safety of driverless cars. But maybe we shouldn't have been, because it looks like they're actually serious about it. The state has now begun fleshing out its campaign with new regulations for testing these robocars, which, of course, are still very much in their infancy. According to the Associated Press, drivers looking to test a driverless vehicle will have to first purchase a bond worth between $1 million and $3 million, depending on the specifics of their project. The data from each test, moreover, will have to be shared with state officials, and all automated vehicles must have some sort of black box-like device to securely store this information, in the event of a crash. Most interesting, however, is how humans fit into all of this. Under the state's regulations, a passenger is still considered an "operator" of the vehicle, even if he or she isn't driving. They'll be exempt from Nevada's ban on driving while texting, but they won't be able to rely on their robocar as a designated driver -- which is fine, because it's not like anyone drinks in Vegas anyway.

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