Dear PoPville – Skynet lives (Google Self Driving Car in DC)

Thanks to a reader for sending in the photo above from Union Station.

Council Member Mary Cheh issued a press release:

“Last year, the Nevada state legislature passed the first law in the nation to permit testing of driverless cars. Nevada regulations, however, require a person behind the wheel and one in the passenger’s seat during tests. This month, the state issued the first licenses for the cars to travel on state roads and highways. D.C. has yet to pass such regulations, but the Department of Motor Vehicles has granted special permission for Thursday’s test ride. The driverless car system permits a human driver to take control by stepping on the brake or turning the wheel. The car will take Councilmember Cheh for a short ride, approximately five to six minutes, through downtown D.C.”

21 Comment

  • I know someone who got to take a ride in the google car today!! I am jealous! And you know who you are, Google rider… :*

  • While I realize that autonomous cars will probably be commonplace a decade from now, hopefully they aren’t Priuses! Ugh!

  • That picture looks like a little red man is mooning me.

  • For real, why did they pick a Prius? I mean, Toyota used to be the go-to car if you wanted something well made and reliable. These days, they’re average, at best. I had a Camr rental last month, and it was flimsy and slow.

    • Because the prius is one of the most reliable cars on the road and it gets great gas mileage. What more would you want?

      • +1 I’ve had my Prius 5 years and only had to have one thing fixed after 75000 miles of driving. Its the best!

  • I saw it driving down the 600/700 block of 3rd st NE (last week) and it navigated the narrow street and traffic well.

  • “The vehicle operated in a manner consistent with D.C. traffic patterns and the laws in the District. The automated car first complained about rush hour traffic (but said ‘it still beats the Metro’), cut off a couple bicyclists, double parked on K Street NW for a while, and then got several tickets in a Capitol Hill neighborhood after parking authorities installed new parking zone signs at mid-day.”

  • clevelanddave

    I submit the day will come when you will no longer effectively be allowed to drive your own car. It will happen in the lifetime of most people around today.

    Insurance companies will force most people to be driven instead of drive themselves: the rates will be so low for self driven cars and the rates will be so high for human driven cars that no one will be able to afford to drive their cars anywhere. Say you heard it here first.

  • Oh, Mary Cheh and her joke Press Releases!

  • brookland_rez

    I actually saw it this morning on the way to work, around 10th and NY Ave downtown.

  • Is this what Kwame Brown meant when he asked for “fully loaded”?

  • POP – why is the license plate obscured? Wasn’t it operating in public space around town with a legitimate license plate in full public view? Is there a reason to now obscure it?

  • claire

    Well, if it can manage downtown DC, that’s a ringing endorsement.

  • Is it programmed to “block-the-box” and double park on Sundays?

  • so does this mean the yahoo driverless car is forthcoming? because if so I need to make sure to get out of the city that day.

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