This is the first time, says Google, that its self-driving car was pulled for driving too slowly, a relatively rare offence among humans. “Driving too slowly? Bet humans don’t get pulled over for that too often,” said the Google car team in a Google+ post Thursday. “We’ve capped the speed of our prototype vehicles at 25 mph for safety reasons.”
The cop pulled the car because it was driving at 24mph in a 35mph zone. In Google’s defence, its car is set to drive slowly to make it safe and less scary for others, and easily approachable for people who’re interested in learning more about Google Autonomous Car.
In the meanwhile, the Mountain View Police has explained the situation as well. “As the officer approached the slow moving car he realised it was a Google Autonomous Vehicle,” they wrote in a blog post. “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.”
The cop realised the situation and graciously didn’t issue a ticket. Though, at this point it is not clear who should have gotten a ticket if a self-driving car does commit a serious violation. Several concerned laws currently find the person in the driver’s seat to be responsible, but the laws are still pretty grey as to what should be done when the seat is empty.
The incident, while amusing, just goes on to suggest that laws aren’t moving at the same pace as technology.