No driver? No ticket. That, at least, was the result when a police officer pulled over one of Google’s self-driving cars Thursday in Mountain View, California for driving too slowly – 24 MPH in a 35 MPH zone.
“As the officer approached the slow moving car, he realized it was a Google Autonomous Vehicle,” a police department post said.
Which is to say that no one was driving. There was, however, a passenger. So the officer asked the passenger how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways.
He also took the opportunity to inform the passenger about 22400(a) of the California Vehicle Code, which related to impeding traffic — a section of the law the self-driving car may have been unfamiliar with.
In a Google Plus post, the Google Self-Driving Car Project pled guilty to slow driving.
“We’ve capped the speed of our prototype vehicles at 25 mph for safety reasons,” the post said. “We want them to feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighborhood streets.”
In the end, the officer determined the car had broken no law. No harm, no foul and no ticket was issued — not because there was no driver to whom to issue it but because the car had committed no violation.