Google Developing Self-Driving Cars
Google is working on a self-driving cars using artificial-intelligence software that can make decisions similar to what a human driver would make, the company says.
Seven cars - six Priuses and an Audi TT, have been able to drive 1,000 miles without any human intervention. And with only occasional human control, these cars have driven as many as 140,000 miles.
A driver is always on hand to take over in case something goes wrong, and an engineer is always on hand in the car to monitor the software.
The test vehicles use a combination of video cameras, radar sensors and lasers which Google says were “never unmanned” to pilot themselves in busy traffic.
Although the car in the video appears to be driven by someone, he is simply there to monitor
the software and is not actually inputting to the driving.
Google has already mapped and photographed 100,000’s of miles of roads around the world for its Street View service, including road signs and other information which will likely prove useful for driverless cars.
Google unveiled its work on self-driving cars Saturday on the official company blog. The cars drove from Google's Mountain View campus to its Santa Monica office -- a distance of about 350 miles, according to Google Maps.
The company says it gathered the best engineers from the DARPA Challenges (an autonomous vehicle race that the government puts on) to work on this project.
Google is hoping the experiment will "help prevent traffic accidents, free up people's time and reduce carbon emissions" through ride sharing and "the new 'highway trains of tomorrow,'" said project leader Sebastian Thrun.
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