Google sends driverless cars onto city streets

Google's robot car.

Several driverless cars crawled the streets of San Francisco this week as technology giant Google tested out its latest innovation.

The cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a “laser range finder” to track and dodge obstacles such as pedestrians and other cars.

They also used highly detailed street mapping to navigate the street grid of San Francisco. Every street sign and lane marker on the designated route had been previously mapped on dedicated data collection missions.

In what Google calls “a first in robotics research”, the cars collectively clocked up more than 225,000 kilometres over the course of the testing window, but it is unlikely drivers in the Californian city had any inkling they were sharing tarmac with robots. Trained operators were positioned behind the wheel of each car, able to take control if the technology failed.

Google have big hopes for the future of their automated driving project, claiming it could one day cut road traffic deaths in half. They predict the cars could greatly increase carpooling, and even lead to highway trains with whole roads, or sections of roads, dedicated to automated vehicles.

And while that might seem incredibly ambitious, the Internet behemoth might be the one company with the means to make it happen.

[Google blog]

2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Thanks for good stuff

  2. What´s in the lab today could be in your home tomorrow. Or your garage. :p

nextmedia Pty Ltd © 2022 All Rights Reserved