Police pull over Google’s driverless car for driving too slowly


James Titcomb

November 13, 2015

Officer in Mountain View, California, stop self-driving car after it was found driving 11 mph under the speed limit

Police in California have pulled over one of Google’s self-driving cars after it was driving far slower than the speed limit.

An officer in Mountain View, California, near Google’s headquarters, stopped one of the company’s prototype vehicles after it was holding up traffic by driving 24 mph in a 35 mph area.

The car, which as California laws require, had a human available to take control even when driving themselves, pulled over and was not given a fine, Google said. The Mountain View Police Department said the vehicle was, in fact, driving lawfully.

The incident is the latest interesting development as Google’s self-driving cars run millions of miles worth of trials. The cars have been developed to drive extremely cautiously, which means they have an exemplary safety record but has on occasion led to them getting rear-ended by human drivers .

“The officer stopped the car and made contact with the operators to learn more about how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways and to educate the operators about impeding traffic per 22400(a) of the California Vehicle Code [which says that cars should not drive so slowly that they impede traffic],” the police said .

However, the police said the vehicle was driving lawfully, given the speed limit.

On the Google+ page for its self-driving car project, Google wrote: “Driving too slowly? Bet humans don’t get pulled over for that too often.”

“Like this officer, people sometimes flag us down when they want to know more about our project. After 1.2 million miles of autonomous driving (that’s the human equivalent of 90 years of driving experience), we’re proud to say we’ve never been ticketed!”

Under California rules, a human must still be at the controls of a self-driving car. As for who would get fined, the law is unclear, although Google has said it will foot the bill for any fines its driverless cars receive.

This article was written by James Titcomb from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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