Nevada, America's one stop shop for all sorts of bad ideas, has issued a license to an autonomous vehicle that is most definitely not a human being. One of Google's driverless Priuses that we've been keeping a wary eye on for some time now recently passed road tests in Carson City and on the Las Vegas strip, earning itself the first autonomous vehicle license. This comes about a year after Nevada was the first state to pass legislation allowing self-driving vehicles on public roads, possibly in an attempt to obliterate that state's profitable limousine industry.
Back in February, the state laid out the rules for driverless vehicles, which unfortunately still require the operator to be sober while the vehicle is in motion, although said operator doesn't actually have to be physically present. (For now, Nevada still requires each vehicle have two occupants, one of whom can take over at any time.) We're not entirely sure what that means for automated Fourth Meal runs in Vegas, but the provisions do allow for texting while driving. So, there's at least one tiny victory for people who would rather be doing something else while on the road.
To differentiate the autonomous vehicles from the rest of cars out in the desert, the beta testing robot fleet will get red license plates to warn other drivers that the car in front of them might have been programmed by the same company that filters out their spam email. For now, any company looking to test driverless vehicles on Nevada's public thoroughfares has to plunk down $1 million for a surety bond as insurance. A little further down the road, the state plans to issue special special driver's license endorsements for folks who have been approved to take command of the sentient motor vehicles.