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Nevada Set to Open “Electric Highway”

Project would support Tesla Gigafactory.

by on Jun.17, 2015

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval.

While it may be best known for its gambling industry, the State of Nevada has been making a push to take leadership in the future of the auto industry, as well.

The first state to officially license autonomous vehicles, and the home to the new Tesla Gigafactory battery plant, Gov. Brian Sandoval this week announced plans for the Nevada Electric Highway. The project will set up a network of charging stations on U.S. 95, the highway between Reno, where the Gigafactory is being built, and the gaming center of Las Vegas.

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“We’ve all driven this road before and have anxiety (just) getting gas,” said Sandoval. “Now we can have confidence to charge our electric vehicles and drive them from place to place.”


Continental Sees Autonomous Vehicles “Ready for Production” by 2020

Mega-supplier receives testing license from Nevada.

by on Dec.20, 2012

Continental offers an image of what tomorrow's autonomous vehicle might look like.

Continental, one of the world’s top automotive suppliers, has become the first company to win approval from the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous vehicles on the state’s wide open highway.

With extensive stretches of good roads with little traffic, Nevada has become a popular state for testing out new autonomous vehicle technologies – which led the state to enact new rules creating a special class of license for self-driven automobiles. The first official license plate, which features an infinity symbol, was granted to Google, the tech firm taking a lead in the field. Continental is the first automotive supplier to seek and receive the special license.

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“As a company, Continental’s strategy is clearly focused on making this type of future technology a reality. It’s clear to us that automated driving will be a key element in the mobility of the future,” said Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the executive board of Continental. “As a system supplier, we are perfectly positioned to develop and launch series production of solutions for partially automated systems for our customers by 2016.”

But the goal, he said, is to take the technology even further, “ultimately (with) fully automated driving, even at higher speeds and in more complex driving situations, ready for production by 2020 or 2025.”


Nevada Hands Out First License for Self-Driving Car

To infinity and beyond.

by on May.08, 2012

Google's autonomous car cruises the Las Vegas strip before receiving its new license plate.

There are plenty of distractions when you’re cruising the Strip in Las Vegas, from the neon lights of the big casinos to the heavy traffic along what’s officially known as Las Vegas Boulevard. And that doesn’t take into account the rolling billboards for Sin City’s seemingly ubiquitous “escort” services.

But the little Toyota Prius covered with an odd array of electronic sensors didn’t seem to notice any of it during a demonstration drive earlier this week.  Or, more precisely, it only saw what it needed to in order to safely navigate a stretch that is often plagued with accidents caused by distracted human motorists.

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That’s because the only humans in the Google autonomous vehicle were along for the ride, part of a demonstration showing how safe the self-guided vehicle could be.  It was enough to convince the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles to issue Google the first official license for an autonomous vehicle.


Nevada First State to Authorize Driverless Cars

State passes new rules for autonomous vehicles.

by on Feb.20, 2012

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval gets a ride in an autonomous Toyota Prius.

The Jetsons would feel right at home in Nevada – which this month became the first state in the nation to formally approve legislation authorizing the use of autonomous vehicles on its roadways.

The once far-fetched idea is becoming more and more grounded every day as manufacturers work to develop technology that could permit a motorist to plug in a destination and let the vehicle drive there automatically. Indeed, Google has become a leader in autonomous technology, with several prototypes already logging over 160,000 miles in test runs.

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While most experts contend the technology is still years away from widespread application, Nevada lawmakers apparently couldn’t wait.  Last summer, lawmakers there ordered state regulators to establish rules covering the use of autonomous vehicles.