Google Self-Driving Car Pulled Over For Going Too Slow

You probably know the feeling: you’re driving along happily at the speed limit, on your way to work or school or that new mud-wrestling pit that just opened up, when suddenly, you’re forced to slow down to a veritable crawl, stuck puttering onward below the speed limit because one driver is moving at a snail’s pace. Who could be such a sadist? It could be a self-driving car, like the Google vehicle police pulled over yesterday.

One of Google’s self-driving prototypes was stopped by police in Mountain View, CA — the hometown of the technology giant — when an officer noticed traffic backing up behind the vehicle. It was traveling at 24 mph in a 35 mph, police said in a blog post.

Cops in that area are savvy to the tech world and recognized the car as a driverless Google model (with a human safety driver inside, of course), and the officer decided to pull it over “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.”

In a post on its Google+ page, the Google Self-Driving Car Project responded to the news by explaining that the prototype vehicles can only go up to 25 mph in any case, for “safety reasons.”

“We want them to feel friendly and approachable, rather than zooming scarily through neighborhood streets,” it said. “Like this officer, people sometimes flag us down when they want to know more about our project,” Google added. “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!”

Just try not to get in my way when I’m heading to the cheese store, Google, or we’ll have to have some words.