Google Exam Details Exam Published

    In May 2012, Google was the first to receive a license to drive autonomous vehicles on general roads in Nevada. Today, September 16, come into force the rules for driving unmanned vehicles on the roads of another US state - California. By this date, IEEE Spectrum reporters, using the US legislation on freedom of information, managed to get copies of the test report and electronic correspondence related to their conduct.

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    The exam was held on May 1, 2012 in Las Vegas. As it turned out, Google representatives had the opportunity to choose the route along which the car moved during the exam, and also had the opportunity to reschedule the test in case of bad weather. In addition, during the exam, a Google engineer, who was driving for safety, twice had to take control. Nevertheless, in general, Google’s robotic car demonstrated driving ability no worse than the average driver. Perhaps the main drawback that the examiners noted was the excessive caution of the robot, which seemed to annoy them a bit: A

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    note in the column about the traffic lights: “It seems that the car is too careful when approaching some traffic lights.”

    It also became clear from Google’s correspondence with the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles that at the time of the exam, the company's security policy did not provide for the possibility of unmanned driving in some situations especially difficult for the robot or for passengers and pedestrians - at railway crossings, near schools, in parking lots supermarkets, roundabouts (where, according to Google, many drivers do not know and do not follow traffic rules), as well as in fog and rain. In addition, directly during the exam, the car “did not dare” to independently overcome a difficult turn, where part of the road was blocked due to repairs:

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    “Having approached the repaired area, the car stopped and demanded a manual mode”

    Since Google honestly warned the examiners about these restrictions, and given that regardless of the degree of autonomy of the car, a person must be behind the wheel, this did not become an obstacle to obtaining a driver’s license. In most situations, both on the highway and in city traffic, both day and night, an unmanned vehicle performed well.

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    Interestingly, Google almost never used a driver’s license in Nevada. After May 2013, when the first license expired, the corporation did not renew it for eight months. The fact is that almost immediately after obtaining a license, Google managed to agree on admission to general roads with the authorities of California and no longer travel to the neighboring state.


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