Legal Drinking and “Driving”?

Nevada Legalizes Driverless Cars

You might not have to actually drive your car, but as the “driver” it will still be illegal to drink and drive.  At least for the moment in Nevada where computer-driven cars have been legalized. It is the first state in which people will be able to get into their cars and not actually have to drive them on public roads. Don’t expect to find a bunch of self-driving cars lined up at your car dealership though, but this is the sign of things to come. 

Currently, it is only Google that is marketing driverless cars. But it seems it is only a matter of time before other cars take the driver out of the mix.  Yet this concept is not quite ready to go to market.

“Driver” Benefits

So how, one may ask, does this benefit the driver if one still is not allowed to drink and drive?  According to one report in Geeky Gadgets texting apparently is legal, but drinking is not.  Still, it’s great for people with medical conditions who cannot get a driving license to be able to enjoy this type of independence by using a virtual chauffeur.  Gov. Brian Sandoval test drove a Toyota Prius last year. Human drivers will be able to override the autopilot function (this is probably why they need to be sober while in the car). 

In addition, there must always be two drivers in the car, with one of them being able to take control of the car, should the need arise. In addition, the cars need to have something like an aircraft black box that has the capacity to store the sensor data for at least half a minute before a collision occurs. In addition, ultimately whether or not there is a human driver present, the operator will be held responsible whether or not he or she is actually in the vehicle at the time of something happening.

Car Expenses

It won’t be cheap initially.  It seems that if a company wants to test one of these cars, a bond of between $1-3m (depending on how many cars they are planning to test).  Following the testing, the firms must provide data to the state on what they found.

So it is going to take time but it looks like Nevada is showing the rest of the nation the sign of things to come vis-à-vis mobility.

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