Nevada Approves Autonomous Cars for Public Roads

DMV Director Bruce Breslow said becoming the first state to OK them means Nevada has embraced "what is surely the future for automobiles."

Nevada's Legislative Commission approved regulations Feb. 15 that allow self-driving vehicles to operate on the state's roads. It is the first U.S. state to grant this approval for autonomous vehicles, which are being developed by Google and some automakers. These vehicles will display a red license plate for the time being; when the technology is ready for general use by the public, the vehicles will display green plates.

"Nevada is the first state to embrace what is surely the future of automobiles," Department of Motor Vehicles Director Bruce Breslow said. "These regulations establish requirements companies must meet to test their vehicles on Nevada's public roadways as well as requirements for residents to legally operate them in the future."

Nevada partnered with Google, automobile manufacturers, testing professionals, insurance companies, universities, and law enforcement to craft the regulations. Several other states are currently weighing bills to allow them, according to the DMV.

"Our work doesn’t stop here," Breslow said. "The department is currently developing licensing procedures for companies that want to test their self-driving vehicles in Nevada. Nevada is proud to be the first state to embrace this emergent technology, and the department looks forward to sustaining partnerships as the technology evolves."

The Legislative Commission consists of 12 legislators who exercise general policy-making and supervising authority over the operations of the Legislative Counsel Bureau. At every regular session of the Legislature, the Senate and the Assembly each designate six members and alternates for those members to serve on the commission.

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