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Google self-driven cars get licence in Nevada

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Google Street View car

© Rex Features

Google has been handed a vehicle licence for its self-driving cars by the state of Nevada.

A Toyota Prius, modified by the search engine giant, became the first driverless vehicle to hit the road when it took a cruise along the Las Vegas strip.

The car uses mounted cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to map out the position of other traffic. The car was previously tested on the roads of California, with a trained driver on board to override the software if necessary.

Google engineers reported that the vehicle covered 140,000 miles with no accidents, aside from a minor bump at traffic lights from a driver behind.

"They're designed to avoid distracted driving," Nevada DMV Director Bruce Breslow told The AP. "When you're on the Strip and there's a huge truck with three scantily-clad women on the side, the car only sees a box."

Nevada altered its laws to allow driverless cars in March. Under the legislation, two people must be inside the vehicle while it is in motion - one watching the wheel, and the other monitoring a computer screen displaying the planned route.

Google has applied to licence three test vehicles. Car companies are also seeking self-driven vehicle licences in Nevada.

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