If you’re thinking that the title is the preamble to a joke, then think again. A police office had the surprise of his life when he decided to pull over a car that was going too slow. Cop pulls over a car without a driver because the vehicle was going at 24 mph in a 34 mph zone.
The police officer was present on the road in order to assure traffic safety and fluidity. Maybe he was ready to give a couple of speeding tickets to some speeding daredevils, but he was sure caught by surprise when he got out of the car to make his first catch of the day.
As he approached the slow-moving vehicle, the police officer observed that the car belonged to Google Inc. Officials from Mountain View Police said that the car pulled over by the police officer was an autonomous vehicle, conducting a series of road tests for Google.
Although the phantom driver got away from this little encounter with the Californian police force without a bruise or even a warning, it seems that this little incident has more history behind it than we can ever image.
The police brigade from Mountain View is aware that, for some time now, Google Inc. is testing out its autonomous vehicles on public roads. However, Californian law states that any vehicle, be it manned or unmanned must have a driver behind the driving wheel.
This was the first thing that the police officer said to Google’s representatives when he pulled over the car. He also added that ever since these vehicles made their way on the highway, they have impeded traffic on several occasions. They even pointed out that in the past six years, many autonomous vehicles bearing Google’s marks have been involved in 11 road accidents. Fortunately, no one got seriously injured in these accidents, just a couple of scrapes and bruises.
Official spokespersons from Mountain View’s police department stated that they are frequently monitoring Google’s autonomous vehicles in order to insure traffic safety.
But Google did not remain silent. It seems that a couple of members from Google reacted to the outrageous accusations coming from the police department. They pointed out that the incidents were minor and no one got hurt. Moreover, it would seem that the accidents occurred after the cars completed over 1 million miles of road testing and over 1 million miles in self-driving mode.
However, officials from the police department have declared that all road accidents involving autonomous vehicles happened when they were in self-driving mode.