Nevada is first state to approve driverless car regulations

February 23, 2012 12:00 AM

Last year, Nevada gave Google the green light to test its driverless car prototype on the state's roads. Now, the state's Legislative Commission has approved regulations for the operation of such vehicles within Nevada borders. Test cars will be designated by red license plates and once they are approved for regular use, they will have green plates so other drivers know they are not average vehicles.

"Nevada is the first state to embrace what is surely the future of automobiles," said Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles director Bruce Breslow. "These regulations establish requirements companies must meet to test their vehicles on Nevada's public roadways as well as requirements for residents to legally operate them in the future."

One interesting part of the legislation is that drivers behind the wheel of autonomous vehicles are allowed to text, according to Forbes. The state recently joined the ranks of those that outlaw texting while driving, but a car that does most of the work rules out the need for drivers to pay attention 100 percent of the time, so technology lovers will be able to take advantage of downtime behind the wheel. points out that autonomous vehicles are still a few years away from being available to the public, and BMW, Audi, Volkswagen and other car companies are all developing their own driverless vehicles. Until these cars are on the market, motorists can keep their current vehicles on the road with regular car maintenance. 

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