Google Automated Self Driving Car Test Drove Successfully!

Aligning with Google’s optimistic view about technology’s ability to advance society, Google has made a surprising move! Google developed the technology for automated cars and test drove the car from Google’s Mountain View campus to Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard and logged over 140,000 miles (225,308 kms)! This project uses artificial-intelligence software that can sense anything near the car and mimic the decisions made by a human driver. The automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps to navigate the road ahead.

An autonomous car is seen at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. (Photos by Ramin Rahimian, The New York Times)

While the test is conducted, the car was manned by a trained safety driver behind the wheel who can take over as easily as one disengages cruise control. With this automation, Google expects to reduce traffic accidents.

“Your car should drive itself; it’s amazing to me that we let humans drive cars,” Eric Schmidt, chief executive officer of Google, said at a technology conference last month. “It’s a bug that cars were invented before computers.” [bloomberg]

The project is the brainchild of Sebastian Thrun, the 43-year-old director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, a Google engineer and the co-inventor of the Street View mapping service. Google is using six Priuses and an Audi TT in the project. googleblog

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