Google’s self-driving car was pulled over by a police officer for apparently driving too slowly. But who gets the ticket when the car is autonomous? Will it be the car or the passenger?
This is the question that was trending all over the internet when one of Google’s self-directed cars was pulled over by a police officer in the eastbound lane No. 3, near Rengstorff Avenue.
According to a blog post by the Mountain View Police Department, the officer in question stopped the car after realizing that traffic was building up behind the slow-moving car, which was reportedly moving at speed of 24 mph in a zone that requires speeds of 35 mph.
“As the officer approached the car, he quickly recognized it as a Google Autonomous car”, the post pointed out. “The officer pulled over the car and made contact with the car’s operators in order to know more about its choice of speeds along given roads as well as talk to them about impeding traffic”.
Google responded to this in a Google+ post, but the search engine giant appeared to be appreciating the humor in this scenario.
“Driving too slowly?” the post mused. “Bet humans never get pulled over for slow-driving that often”. The post further explained that the Google has “capped the speed” of their “prototype cars at 25 mph with safety reasons in mind. We want them to feel more friendly and welcoming rather than dashing scarily through neighboring streets”.
Under the California Vehicle Code, these self-driving cars are referred to as “neighborhood electric cars” and they can be operated on any road that has speed limits of 35 mph or under, the police department’s post revealed.
“In this case, it was legal for this car to be travelling on this street as it is rated 35 mph”. In short, the answer to the trending question of who should get the ticket when a self-driving car is pulled over still hangs in the balance.
“Like the officer in Mountain View, people usually flag us down just to get to know more about this project”, Google said in a post. “After 1.2 million miles of self-driving (equivalent to 90 years of human driving), we are proud to say that we have never been ticketed”.