Google's Self-Driving Car Stopped by Police for Slow Driving

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on November 19, 2015 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Mountain View Police officer pulled over a Google self-driving care for driving too slowly last week. There was no one in the driver's seat to ticket for the vehicle's sluggish progress through a 35 mile-per-hour zone, according to the police department's blog.

But the cop did question the remote operator, even if he issued no citation. The officer stopped the car and made contact to learn more about how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways and "to educate the operators about impeding traffic."

Per the Police

In this case, it was lawful for the car to be traveling on the street as El Camino Real is rated at 35 mph, the police department stated, explaining, "The Mountain View Police Department meets regularly with Google to ensure that their vehicles operate safely in our community."

The police website explains that Google's self-driving cars can only be operated on speedways of 35 mph or less. But since the car was "clogging" El Camino Real, the officer took the time to talk to the remote operator about how the car was making choices.

Google's Perspective

"Driving too slowly? Bet humans don't get pulled over for that too often," Google's self-driving car project wrote in a self-congratulating blog post. It said the cars -- outfitted with high-tech sensors and computing power -- have never received a ticket.

According to the Associated Press, other self-driving cars that Google has been testing on California roads and highways were involved in 17 minor collisions since May 2010, according to the company. Google has said all the collisions were minor, were not caused by its cars, and happened over 2.2 million miles of testing, including nearly 1.3 million miles in self-driving mode.

Representatives of the auto automation project said that they are trying to program the vehicles to drive less like robots and more like people to reduce the number of times the self-driving cars are hit.

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