Google lobbies Nevada to allow self-driving cars

May 11, 2011 | Source: New York Times

Google is quietly lobbying for legislation that would make Nevada the first state where autonomous vehicles could be legally operated on public roads and would allow occupants to send text messages while sitting behind the wheel.

Dr. Sebastian Thrun of Google (formerly Stanford University) has said robotic vehicles would increase energy efficiency while reducing road injuries and deaths. And he has called for sophisticated systems for car sharing that, he says, could cut the number of cars in the United States in half.