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Netherlands Might Beat U.S. On Self-Driving Cars, Trucks

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Google is building 100 prototypes of a car without steering wheels. (Source: Google)

Google is building 100 prototypes of a car without steering wheels. (Source: Google)

AMSTERDAM (CBS SF/AP) — The Dutch government says it wants to encourage large-scale tests of self-driving cars in the Netherlands by next year, and supports a plan to allow tests of self-driving trucks by 2019, giving the Google Car and other self-driving vehicles in the U.S. a run for the money, literally.

The country’s infrastructure minister, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, said Monday she is investigating legal changes needed to allow self-driving cars to use public roads in the Netherlands, and plans to submit a law by early 2015. This fall she will indicate likely conditions and roads earmarked for testing.

In addition, the Port of Rotterdam, DAF trucks and the Netherlands’ Organisation for Applied Scientific Research have applied to test a system to transport goods caravan-style on public roads using self-driving trucks.

Spokeswoman Marianne Wuite said the government believes self-driving cars will lead to greater efficiency and safety, and reduce pollution.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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