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  • 10 May 2012 14:12

Google gets funky new license plates from Nevada DMV

Blog Post from Paul Ducklin, Sophos

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Nevada, USA, has issued its first-ever official Autonomous Vehicle Testing number plates to a Google self-driving car.

The rego reads ∞AU001, in yellow and white characters on a bright red background.

According to the Nevada DMV, "the infinity symbol was the best way to represent the 'car of the future.'"

But that optimistic statement is offset in the DMV's press release by the additional observation that "the unique red plate will be easily recognized by the public and law enforcement."

With that in mind, perhaps an exclamation point, or !, might have been a better choice than infinity?

(Google would no doubt have objected. After all, the exclamation point is rather alarmingly known in British English as the "shriek", and even more disturbingly in American English as the "bang".)

Well done to Google's engineers - even though the red colour denotes that the vehicles are still plated for testing purposes. Only when the plates are issued in green will the vehicles have been licensed for sale to and use by the public.

Sadly, Google's autonomous vehicles aren't yet able to renew their own registrations online.

The Nevada DMV's rego portal doesn't recognise the infinity symbol as a valid license plate character.

Looks as though the cars will have to renew over the phone.

This raises another interesting question.

Will Autonomous Vehicles be expected to pull over and stop before making a phone call? Or will they be allowed to delegate the call to an auxiliary processor?

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