Self-driving Google Car Gets Stuck in Grass Valley Roundabout

Grass Valley, CA — A Google self-driving car caused a traffic jam in Grass Valley over the weekend. A Google engineer decided to try the new driver-less car in this area to, as he explains, “put it through the paces of my hometown, where I learned to drive.”

Still, in its experimental stages, the driver-less car has met with varying amounts of success. Ryan Wolford, a Google engineer from Mountain View, CA, decided to–I guess drive wouldn’t be the right word–take his self-driving Google prototype vehicle to Nevada County while visiting his brother Skyy Wolford of North San Juan.

“Yeah, I decided to bring the one with no steering wheel or pedals. It worked like a champ all the way here. Even though the Roseville mess, and even Auburn. Jesus, I swear Auburn is the red-headed stepchild of traffic patterns everywhere,”  Ryan Wolford tells the Beacon. “I thought the car could handle pretty much everything by now, but as you see [he gestured toward the car orbiting us], it can’t quite comprehend this roundabout. The roundabout up by Briar Patch was fine, no problem.”

As we continued the interview, the car was still stuck doing circles in the Idaho-Maryland Road roundabout with a determined Grass Valley Police officer in slow pursuit. Mr. Wolford and I were ordered to stay where we were in the center of the roundabout until officers “arrested the progress” of the Google autonomous vehicle.

Wolford had finally jumped out of the car into the center of the roundabout after about “600 times around that damn circle.” I ran across to help him. And to interview him.

“Man, that car is not stopping for that cop anytime soon. It is battery-powered and recharged by both solar and kinetic energy,” Ryan Wolford told the Beacon. “This particular prototype, which I helped develop, is a Level 5 autonomous vehicle. What this means is that it can drive itself, charge itself, and even program its route without any human assistance.”

Do you think that is wise at this point?

“Do I look like I feel wise, mister? My jeans are torn, my loafers are getting run over in this roundabout about twice every 25 seconds, I’m trapped in a goddamn circle in the middle of this hicksville town, and my brother Skyy is across the way there sniffing brake pads at Riebe’s for asbestos.”

Is the car something you are proud of?

“No, to be honest. I can’t believe we didn’t have the foresight to program the damn thing to handle negotiating a freaking 2-lane circle! My crew and I programmed this thing to use radar, lidar, GPS, odometry, quantum intuition, metronomes, palindromes, and computer vision to handle virtually any scenario on the road. Still, the dumb son-of-a-bitch got itself trapped in a circle. Just like the cop behind it.”

The roundabout remained closed to traffic for another 8 hours. The incident finally came to a close when the cruiser, driven by the Grass Valley Police officer, ran out of gas and got rear-ended by the driver-less Google car.

Both Wolford brothers were arrested and booked into Wayne Brown on charges of just knowing too much for the public good. I told the officer, Deputy Bush of the GVPD, I would leave his name out of this story, and he let me go. The Google car is currently impounded at a local towing yard where it is being looted for parts.

Michael Stephen
Michael Stephen
Michael has been through pretty much everything, and his sole aspiration is to get you through it more quickly and with less pain.

More from author

Related posts


Latest posts

McDonald’s Bids Farewell to Epstein Island’s Last Golden Arches Amid Controversial Legacy

The McDonald’s on Epstein Island has shuttered its windows for good, marking the end of what the company now refers to as a "misguided adventure in international franchising." The closure comes amidst a whirlwind of controversy and a belated corporate acknowledgment that some locations, no matter how potentially profitable, are better left un-McTouched.

Bombshell Uncovered: Hunter S. Thompson’s Lost ‘Dr. Strangelove’ Audition

A recently unearthed photograph has revealed the unimaginable: Hunter S. Thompson, king of gonzo journalism, once commandeered the captain’s seat of a B-52, not in the throes of a drug-fueled fantasy, but as a contender for the iconic role in Kubrick’s 'Dr. Strangelove.' The discovery challenges everything we thought we knew about the man who lived on the edge of American sanity.