The Google Self-Driving Car promises to help commuters avoid traffic accidents and navigational blunders, but it still can’t promise to shoulder the burden of dealing with highway patrol. Case in point, a photo has been making the rounds on the Internet of a Google Self-Driving Car getting pulled over by a policeman in Mountain View, California.
The virtual driver’s offense? Driving too slowly.
Netizens first caught wind of the photo earlier today when David E. Weekly, the head of Google's Rapid Rollout Lab, tweeted it out to followers. Reports also surfaced that the driverless vessel had not been careening about town but instead had been going 25 mph in a 35 mph lane, causing traffic to build up. While moving at a snail’s pace may seem to be an innocuous offense, it can get you a ticket for “impeding traffic” in California.
The Google Self-Driving Car Project then posted to its Google+ page a defense of its automated slowpoke: “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 neighborhood streets.”
The post then claimed that the police had actually just pulled the car over to get a closer look: “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!”
A fleet of Google Self-Driving Cars is currently crawling along roads in Mountain View, California and Austin, Texas.