Google Self-Driving Car Project

But it rolled away without a ticket.

Many people—and car companies—seem to think that self-driving cars are the future of safe transport. If connected supercomputers can see all and react faster than humans in any situation, then in the future, we’ll be able to sit back and relax on our morning commutes. But we’re not quite there yet: Yesterday (November 12), it was revealed that one of Google’s self-driving cars was pulled over in the company’s hometown of Mountain View, California. Its crime: driving too slowly.

Google has previously said that it limits its cars to a top speed of about 25 mph. Earlier this week, one of its cars was driving on the El Camino Real, a road with a speed limit of 35 mph. A police officer noticed that traffic was backing up on the road, caught up to the vehicle causing the jam, and realized it was one of Google’s koala-shaped cars, driving at a leisurely 24 mph. According to a blog post from the Mountain View Police Department, the officer wasn’t looking to give anyone (or anything) a ticket, but made contact with the car’s operators to learn more about how the car determines its speeds on certain roads—and to point out the dangers of impeding the regular flow of traffic.

Google shared a photo of the traffic stop, with a caption that begins: “Driving too slowly? Bet humans don’t get pulled over for that too often.”

Google’s self-driving cars, which have now logged more than 1.2 million miles, have in the past been criticized of being too cautious and deferential, even accused of driving like someone’s grandmother. Google says in on its blog that it’s proud that its cars have never been ticketed, which sounds exactly like what someone’s grandmother—or at least one who stays in the right-hand lane the entire time she’s on the highway, traveling 10 miles under the speed limit—might say.

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

More from Quartz:

The Bay Area Has Opened America’s First USDA-Certified Organic Fast-Food Restaurant

A Couple in Spain Are Building a House That Runs on Their Own Waste

What’s Wrong With Finland?

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. The Presidio Terrace neighborhood
    POV

    The Problem of Progressive Cities and the Property Tax

    The news that a posh San Francisco street was sold for delinquent taxes exposes the deeper issue with America’s local revenue system.

  2. Times Square, 1970.
    Life

    The New York That Belonged to the City

    Hyper-gentrification turned renegade Manhattan into plasticine playground. Can the city find its soul again?

  3. "Gift Horse"—a skeletal sculpture of a horse by artist Hans Haacke—debuted on the Fourth Plinth in London's Trafalgar Square in 2015.
    Design

    What To Do With Baltimore's Empty Confederate Statue Plinths?

    Put them to work, Trafalgar Square style.

  4. POV

    Grenfell Was No Ordinary Accident

    The catastrophic fire that killed at least 80 in London was the inevitable byproduct of an ideology that vilified the poor.

  5. New public notice signs from Atlanta's Department of City Planning.
    Design

    Atlanta's Planning Department Makeover

    A new seal, a new name, and most importantly, new signs that people will actually read.