| Thursday April 24th 2014

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Google has secretly developed self driving cars that have logged over 140,000 miles on public roads


If this isn’t a joke it is a tremendous advance. I for one would trust robotic cars more than drunk or texting drivers on the road. How cool would it be to have an autopilot feature to take you home when you had a few too many?Google logo

So we have developed technology for cars that can drive themselves. Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles. We think this is a first in robotics research.

Our automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps (which we collect using manually driven vehicles) to navigate the road ahead. This is all made possible by Google’s data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by our cars when mapping their terrain.

I recently saw a news story about our local first level trauma center. They said that 40% of the trauma victims they saw were due to alcohol related incidents. So 60% of the incidents are caused by sober drivers… which one is more dangerous now? ;)


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