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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.