Google's Self-Driving Cars Arrive in Nevada

Nevada seems to get all the good stuff: one casino after another, loads of strip clubs, bunny farms and now self-driving cars. On Friday Nevada's Department of Motor Vehicles announced that the Legislative Commission finally approved regulations allowing for the operation of Google's self-driving cars on the state's roadways. These vehicles will be distinguished from traditional human-operated vehicles by sporting a red license plate.

"Nevada is the first state to embrace what is surely the future of automobiles," Department of Motor Vehicles Director Bruce Breslow said. "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."

To create the regulations, the department partnered with Google, automobile manufacturers, testing professionals, insurance companies, universities and law enforcement, all with a common vision of "saving lives." When the technology is ready for general public use, the self-driving cars will don a green license plate instead.

"Our work doesn’t stop here," Breslow said. "The department is currently developing licensing procedures for companies that want to test their self-driving vehicles in Nevada. Nevada is proud to be the first state to embrace this emergent technology and the department looks forward to sustaining partnerships as the technology evolves."

Several other states currently have bills in front of their legislators that will follow Nevada into the future, Nevada's DMV said. Google has been testing its self-driving vehicles on California roadways since 2010 which have thus far driven more than 160,000 miles without incident. Audi and Volkswagen are just two of many major car manufacturers who have Google's autonomous cars in the works.