Google isn’t the only outfit puttering around Nevada roads with its hands off the wheel — German automotive supplier Continental has the state’s approval to let the computer take the wheel, too. Earlier this week the Silver State signed off on the German company’s safety, employee training, system function and accident reporting plans, granting Continental a testing license and adorning its vehicles with red license plates. It’s the very same treatment Mountain View received back in May — but Continental’s cars aren’t exactly direct competitors to Google’s fare.
The company’s “highly automated vehicles” are more of an advanced cruise control system than a self driving car — capable of navigating stop and go traffic on a freeway, for example, but still requiring the driver to take control as their exit draws near. Continental sees the partially autonomous vehicle as a stepping stone to fully automated cars, and plans to offer the partial solution between 2016 and 2020, switching up to fully automated driving systems by 2025. The company hopes refine its testing to meet this goal in Nevada, putting its stereo camera and sensor equipped vehicle through freeway and rush-hour trials in real traffic. The company’s ultimate goal, of course, is to eliminate accidents and fatalities on the road. Check out the firm’s official PR after the break.