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Green light for Google self-driving car

May 08 2012 08:30 AFP

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San Francisco - The state of Nevada has issued a licence plate giving Google's self-driving car the green light to travel along public roads.

The modified Toyota Prius was issued a licence bearing an infinity sign next to the left of number "001" after demonstrating its auto-pilot capabilities on highways, neighbourhood streets and even the hectic "strip" in Las Vegas.

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles proclaimed the licence the first for an autonomous vehicle in the United States.

"I felt using the infinity symbol was the best way to represent the car of the future," motor vehicle department director Bruce Breslow said in a statement posted at the state agency's website.

The car was given a unique red licence plate to make it recognisable by police and the public as a self-driving test vehicle.

"When there comes a time that vehicle manufactures market autonomous vehicles to the public, that infinity symbol will appear on a green licence plate," Breslow said.

Nevada hopes the creation of the test plates will drive companies to develop, test and build autonomous vehicles in the state.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin heads a stealth team working on visionary innovations such as self-driving cars and eye glasses that mesh the online world with the real world.

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