In Mountain View, California on Thursday, a police officer made a traffic stop to pull over one of Google’s self-driving automobiles, however, he wrote no ticket.
An officer pulled over a Google self-driving vehicle that was being tested on neighborhood streets Thursday.
“As the officer approached the slow moving car he realized it was a Google Autonomous Vehicle,” a police department post said.
The car was going 24 mph in a 35 mph zone, as indicated by the Mountain View Police Department — with traffic clearly backed up behind it. The car wasn’t speeding, but it was driving too slowly.
He stopped the car and reached its administrators to let them know it was obstructing traffic activity, but no citation was given. He asked the passenger how the car was picking speeds along roadways.
The Google project responded in a blog entry, stating it’s never gotten a ticket and pled guilty to driving slowly — adding, “Driving too slowly? Bet humans don’t get pulled over for that too often.”
The officer verified that the car had not infringed upon the law, and no ticket was issued in light of the fact that the car had committed no violation.
“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 project posted.
Nevertheless, the incident raises questions about whether the cars are excessively wary.
An accident report filed by the California Department of Motor Vehicles described the Google car as “over-cautious”.
“We’ve capped the speed of our prototype vehicles at 25 mph for safety reasons,” the post responded. “We want them to feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighborhood streets.”
In September, Google announced that it was working to make its cars drive “more humanistically” following complaints that they had been too polite.
Google’s self-driving cars are programmed to comply with the laws of the road, but this can bring about issues when the vehicles are sharing the road with drivers who do not.
Google researchers have stated that getting autonomous cars to function well in the world of human drivers is one of their created difficulties and challenges.