Automotive

Google's self-driving cars to hit public roads for the first time

Google's self-driving cars to ...
Google is interested in learning about how the public will perceive and interact with self-driving vehicles
Google is interested in learning about how the public will perceive and interact with self-driving vehicles
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Google is interested in learning about how the public will perceive and interact with self-driving vehicles
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Google is interested in learning about how the public will perceive and interact with self-driving vehicles

Google has followed up news of its "self-driving lessons learned" with an announcement that it is to begin testing its self-driving cars on public roads in California. The first complete prototype was unveiled late last year. The new pilot will allow Google to study public responses to the cars and have them face real-world challenges.

The firm has been working on autonomous vehicles since 2010 and says its fleet has logged nearly a million miles (1.6 million km) of self-driven travel since the start of project. Until now, however, its prototypes have been confined to the test track.

From this summer, the cars will be out and about on the streets of Mountain View, California, where Google is based. There will be a safety driver in each vehicle to take control with a steering wheel, accelerator and brake pedal should the need arise. The vehicles are also limited to 25 mph (40 km/h).

"We’ve been running the vehicles through rigorous testing at our test facilities and ensuring our software and sensors work as they’re supposed to on this new vehicle," says project director Chris Urmson. "The new prototypes will drive with the same software that our existing fleet of self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs uses."

In addition to developing an understanding about how autonomous cars will need to operate in the real world, Urmson says Google is interested in learning about how the public will perceive and interact with the vehicles.

The video below provides an introduction to the pilot.

Source: Google

Ready for the Road

6 comments
Bob Flint
Poor choice of words hitting the road, more like strolling along. A bug with a beany, will get hit @ 25mph if it can't get out of the way.
Tom Swift
As Google perfects the system and it becomes accepted this will be huge. It will have a far, far greater impact than the EV. Once it is truly driverless, the growing elderly population will be a huge market. For the elderly who can no longer drive it will restore some independence to them, a real lifestyle changer.
CAVUMark
Is there any employee over the age of 30 at Google?
Daishi
>Is there any employee over the age of 30 at Google? Not directly, on their 30th birthday they are converted to biofuel and soylent green.
atlasdrive
This is a good post that is worth reading. It is great to hear about the self-driving cars !!!! Wow !! This is really a great technology.
Deres
Do google cars are compatible between themselves ? In fact, they use a laser scanner. So different cars will use the same frequency lasers. So two googles cars in the same vicinity will probably have many artifacts inside their laser detections. This would be similar to white jamming for a radar. This may be a problem if many cars are equipped.