Is Google’s self-drive car too cautious?
A Google self-drive car has been pulled over by police in the US for driving too slowly (BBC News).
Police in Mountain View, California, stopped the car as it was travelling at 24mph in a 35mph zone.
Google has been working on its self-driving car since 2009 and says that it looks forward “to learning how the community perceives and interacts with us, and uncovering situations that are unique to a fully self-driving vehicle”.
A recent study by the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, suggested that cars driven by people are more likely to hurt other humans than self-driving cars.
In a post about the incident, the Mountain View police department said an officer “noticed traffic backing up behind a slow-moving car in the eastbound lane”.
It said that the officer stopped the car before making 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”.
In a light-hearted response to the incident, Google said: “Driving too slowly? Bet humans don’t get pulled over for that too often.”
The search engine giant added: “We’ve capped the speed of our prototype vehicles at 25mph for safety reasons. We want them to feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighbourhood streets.
“Like this officer, people sometimes flag us down when they want to know more about our project. After 1.2 million miles of autonomous driving (that’s the human equivalent of 90 years of driving experience), we’re proud to say we’ve never been ticketed!”
The Mountain View Police Department confirmed that it meets regularly with Google to ensure that its self-driving vehicles operate safely in the community.
Photo credit: Google.