It’s a pet peeve for many drivers and a source of much road rage — traffic slows to an agonizing crawl due to one slow vehicle in the front. In the case of one routine stop made by the Mountain View, California Police Department, no ticket was required since a car traveling 24 mph in a 35 mph zone had no driver.
On Thursday, a police officer stopped a Google Autonomous Vehicle, one of the tech company’s self-driving cars, according to a post on the police department’s blog.
There was no one at the wheel, but there was a Google operator sitting shotgun who explained to the officer how Google regulates the speed at which its autonomous cars drive. According to California law, a self-driving car can only be operated on roads with speed limits that are at or under 35 mph, and Google caps its cars’ speed at 25 mph.
Google responded to the incident with a sense of humor. On its Google Plus page, the Google Self-Driving Car Project wrote: “Driving too slowly? Bet humans don’t get pulled over for that too often.”
The company went on to say that its vehicles’ speeds are capped for safety concerns, and that it was important that the cars “feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighborhood streets.”
Given that the cars move at what some speed demons might find a snail’s pace, Google was proud to announce that after “1.2 million miles of autonomous driving,” or 90 human years of driving, “we’re proud to say we’ve never been ticketed!”