Google Has Annouced Their New Self-Driving Cars Will Soon Hit The Streets!
Self-driving cars are upon us!
Google announced that a few prototype versions of their self-driving cars will be hitting the streets of Mountain View, Calif. this summer.
The cars won’t be on the market for purchase but serves as a significant step in the direction of a pilot program gatewaying into a new mainstream feature on vehicles. In fact, NY Times reports that those dreams are predicted to come true by 2020. Google’s trials, tests, and technology have in the past included Lexus sport utility vehicles. Results must have yielded positive results because traditional automakers have since been pushing the envelope of driverless technology and on-the-road testing of their own prototypes.
Although Google has its pre-existing relationship with Lexus, Google’s own prototype has been designed to be a fully autonomous car that when people get it, they set their destination and relax as their car does all the work. As a prototype vehicle, it can’t exceed 25 miles per hour and does include a steering wheel and pedals. They legally have to keep the steering wheel but have a goal of taking the driver out of driving completely.
The barrier Google has of lately encountered is not only software but regional differences. Because of the different environments, the software requires special behavioral attention; which is a contribution to the delay.
Employees of Google have the perk of tapping into the future! Astro Teller, head of Google X research announced at the SXSW festival that in fall 2012, their employees were given permission to take the Lexus version of the self-driving car home and self-drive on the freeway as long as they kept their attention in case of emergency. Unfortunately, the employees got so used to the car that they stopped paying attention on the road.
This may be another barrier Google has encountered; Teller said, “Once people trust the system, they trust it… The assumption that humans can be a reliable backup for the system was a total fallacy,” he also said this at the festival. It wasn’t stated, though, whether or not the lack of attention was the cause of the 11 “minor accidents” the self-driving cars had been in. In fact, it was reported that the self-driving car itself was never the accident.
Well, they said 2020 is the year, and that’s just a few years away! Do you guys think these kinks will be ironed out by then?! Would yall drive a self-driven vehicle??
TSR Intern: Chantel P. IG: @_POPchanny | Twitter: @POPchanny