Theweekendleader

A taste of Google's self-driving car

28-May-2014

Google has made plans to build about a hundred prototype vehicles of its self-driving car, according to information available in Google's official blog. Google also posted a video of volunteers taking a ride in the car in Mountain View, California.

A video grab of the Google footage of their self-driving car

Chris Urmson, Director, Self-Driving Car Project stated in a post in their blog that the cars will “be designed to operate safely and autonomously without requiring human intervention. They won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal… because they don’t need them.

“Our software and sensors do all the work. The vehicles will be very basic—we want to learn from them and adapt them as quickly as possible—but they will take you where you want to go at the push of a button. And that's an important step toward improving road safety and transforming mobility for millions of people.”

He has further stated: “Ever since we started the Google self-driving car project, we’ve been working toward the goal of vehicles that can shoulder the entire burden of driving.

“Just imagine: You can take a trip downtown at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking. Seniors can keep their freedom even if they can’t keep their car keys. And drunk and distracted driving? History.” 

On the project’s progress, he says, “It was inspiring to start with a blank sheet of paper and ask, “What should be different about this kind of vehicle?” We started with the most important thing: safety.

“They have sensors that remove blind spots, and they can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions, which is especially helpful on busy streets with lots of intersections. And we’ve capped the speed of these first vehicles at 25 mph.

“On the inside, we’ve designed for learning, not luxury, so we’re light on creature comforts, but we’ll have two seats (with seatbelts), a space for passengers’ belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route—and that’s about it.” – TWL Bureau