Late last year, Google showed off its completed self-driving car, announcing that it was ready for testing on public roads. Earlier in September, in order to accelerate its ambitious project, the company also hired automotive veteran John Krafcik as CEO. However, now it appears that the car may not be ready for widespread adoption yet, following an unusual incident in Mountain View, California, where the vehicle was pulled over for "driving too slowly".
NBC reports that a traffic warden noticed traffic being jammed behind a rather slow-moving vehicle which was apparently traveling at 24 miles per hour in a 35 miles per hour zone. According to the Mountain View police blog, 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."
Google later responded, stating that:
Driving too slowly? Bet humans don’t get pulled over for that too often.
We’ve capped the speed of our prototype vehicles at 25mph 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!?
While it is a relief that the driverless car wasn't involved in a traffic accident or ticketed for one, there have been no less than 14 reported minor accidents in which the autonomous vehicle has been involved, mostly due to inattentive homo sapiens.