Google Announces Self-Driving Car

October 11th, 2010 at 11:01 am
 


Google may not simply be focusing on their online business it seems. While we may all be thinking that the online search giant would be having its hands full developing a better online search or even the mobile operating system like Android, Google seems to have something else in store. They have actually been working on a self-driving car all along.

Google has recently revealed on their blog that they actually have been working on some sort of a robotic car that can drive itself. And if you think that this has just been a recent effort from the online search giant, think again. The project may have been going on for sometime now. According to the blog, the so-called self-driving cars have logged in a total of 140,000 miles so far.

Fine, you say. Google may just have done it on a constructed obstacle course using dozens of cars. Well, not exactly. In this case, Google has been using the streets of cities in California to conduct the tests. But worry not, Google said that it has informed the proper authorities like the police and made them aware about the project before actual testing.

The robot cars used video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to detect other traffic on the road. It also made use of detailed maps to navigate on the road. To add a higher level of safety to the self-driving cars, they hit the road manned with a trained safety driver just in case as well as a trained software operator to monitor the software that navigates the car automatically.

With many car accidents usually caused by human error, it may not be that hard to consider exploring technology behind a self-driving car. Although most people may consider it quite risky and dangerous, a drunk driver or falling asleep behind the wheel while on the road can just be as disturbing and dangerous. Given a very efficient technology that may someday be in future self-driving cars, it may even be more efficient feature that can possibly help prevent many accidents and even fatalities brought about by errors made by careless human drivers.

 

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