Friday, 16 May 2014

Google Self-driving Car, Out For A Spin

Finally, it's out for a spin. Yes, after years of rumors over rumors, Google's secret self-driving cars were made public this week. The self-driving cars that was unveiled at Mountain View (Google HQ) were at least 10, consisting of six Toyota Prius, an Audi TT, and three Lexus RX450, each accompanied in the driver's seat by one of a dozen drivers with unblemished driving records and in the passenger seat by one of Google's engineers, according to report.

Casey Newton, a senior reporter at The Verge reports, "A pair of test drivers invites me to climb in the back. "I'm about to take a ride in Google's self-driving car." The Lexus RX450h has the same leather seats and wood accents as a normal Lexus hybrid, according to him.

He also revealed, "Our vehicle also has modified steering, with separate "on" and "off" buttons for the autonomous driving software placed on either side of the wheel. Our "driver," Ryan Espinosa, also has a heads-up display mounted above the wheel that shows him a 360-degree view of what the car is seeing, and how fast it's driving. As he pulls out of the museum driveway, a chiming noise echoes from the speakers, and a woman's voice lets us know that automatic driving mode is now on. The car begins driving itself through the streets of Mountain View."

While giving details of how the car reacts to opposing objects he says, "Our car makes small adjustments when cyclists and pedestrians come into view, and slows to look for red-light runners before passing through an intersection that has just turned green. Van Derpool's laptop shows us the world as the car is seeing it, with vehicles rendered as 3D purple rectangles and pedestrians as yellow ones. As they move, their relative position updates instantly on the screen. The software can tell the difference between vehicles and people, and behaves differently depending on which of them is nearby."

The robotic vehicle deploys various technology to run. The software powering Google's cars is called Google Chauffeur. Lettering on the side of each car identifies it as a "self-driving car". The project is currently being led by Google engineer Sebastian Thrun, former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View.

So, invariably, Google's vision for the future isn't just to turn our eye glasses to a robot (Google Glass) but also turning our rides to a robot that safely pushes us around.

Sources: The Verge, Wikipedia


  1. Hmmm Google will not kill Person...

  2. what is google turning this world into......hope this works at right

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