If you thought self-driving cars would mean an end to getting pulled over by the police, you — and Google — were clearly mistaken. Police in Mountain View, California, where the tech giant is headquartered, stopped one of Google’s self-driving cars for driving under the speed limit.
An officer on a motorcycle flagged down the Tic Tac-like car for driving 24 mph in a 35 mph zone, causing a line of traffic to form behind it.
After approaching the car and realizing it was one of Google’s self-driving cars, the officer “made contact with the operators to learn more about how the car was choosing speeds along certain roadways,” according to the Mountain View Police Department’s blog post.
Google didn’t get a ticket, but the officer reminded the operators that while the cars are allowed to operate on roads with speed limits under 35 mph, they can’t impede traffic.
Local police said they regularly meet with Google to go over ensure public safety regarding its self-driving cars. Google’s Self-Driving Car Project took the encounter in stride, responding in a cheeky Google Plus post boasting the fact they haven’t been ticketed:
Driving too slowly? Bet humans don’t get pulled over for that too often.
We’ve capped the speed of our prototype vehicles at 25 mph for safety reasons. We want them to feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighborhood streets. Like this officer, people sometimes flag us down when they want to know more about our project. After 1.2 million miles of autonomous driving (that’s the human equivalent of 90 years of driving experience), we’re proud to say we’ve never been ticketed!
Google may boast about never having been ticketed, but the likely frustrated drivers in the line of cars behind the snail-paced vehicle are sure to feel differently.