AUCKLAND, New Zealand (NBC/APTN) - It sounds straight from a movie: Dog handlers in New Zealand said they have trained dogs how to drive cars.
After weeks of indoor training on how to change gears, brake and steer, canines Monty, Ginny and Porter have finally been allowed behind the wheel of a real car.
With a little help from their handlers, the dogs are able to put the car in gear, hit the accelerator and start driving. The dogs can even steer the cars when told.
Trainers said they created a series of instinctive behaviors for the dogs to learn.
"In this case, we've got 10 behaviors we're all putting together," said dog trainer Mark Vette. "So each behavior is a trained behavior, and then you put them into a sequence. So it's a lot to do, and for the dog to actually start to get an idea of what actually is happening takes quite a long time."
The dogs were trained by a local animal rescue charity.
A company has been hired to complete the repairs to the Herbert C. Bonner Bridge on the Outer Banks, but how long those repairs will take remains unknown.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
State officials say construction on a new Bonner Bridge has been delayed for years because of a legal battle with an environmental group.