If you get pulled over by police and ticketed, logic dictates that the person in the driver's seat is on the hook for the ticket. but what happens if the seat is empty?
An officer from California's Mountain View Police Department pulled over Google’s self-driving car on Thursday. The offense: the vehicle was moving too slowly.
“Driving too slowly? Bet humans don’t get pulled over for that too often,” quipped the Google car team in a Google+ post. “We’ve capped the speed of our prototype vehicles at 25 mph for safety reasons.”
Apparently, a traffic police officer noticed traffic backing up behind a slow moving car traveling in the eastbound lane near Rengstorff Ave. The car was traveling at 24 mph in a 35 mph zone, which immediately caught the cop’s attention and he signaled it to stop.
“As the officer approached the slow moving car he realized it was a Google Autonomous Vehicle,” the department explained in a blog post. “The officer stopped the car and made contact with the operators to learn more about how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways and to educate the operators about impeding traffic per 22400(a) of the California Vehicle Code.”
Since the car was not breaking any laws, it was able to talk itself out from getting a ticket.
What a great time to be alive, right?
Google’s cars have driven 1.2 million miles, or the equivalent of 90 years of experience for an average person, without getting a ticket — and it looks like the company plans to maintain its ticket-free streak. However, this was not the first time one of these vehicles has been stopped.
“Like this officer, people sometimes flag us down when they want to know more about our project,” Google added.
For those wondering, the tech-giant has said that if one of its cars breaks the law, the company will cover the violation ticket.
Perhaps the idea of replacing dumb drivers with smart cars is not that scary or unsafe after all.