By Mark Harris
Regulations governing Google’s experimental self-driving cars will come into effect on California’s roads starting 16 September. They have driven more than 1 million kilometers since the company started secretly developing them in 2009, but they have been tested only once by a government body on open roads—by Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) officials in May 2012.
IEEE Spectrum has now obtained the driving log of this test, and e-mails referring to it, under Freedom of Information legislation. Some of this information is not new. For example, Nevada officials shared that the Google’s autonomous Toyota Prius passed the test almost immediately. What has not been revealed until now, however, is that Google chose the test route and set limits on the road and weather conditions that the vehicle could encounter, and that its engineers had to take control of the car twice during the drive. …[Read more]