Google Creates Self Driving Car
Google has unveiled their latest prototype, a driverless vehicle. While it looks nothing a conventional car, it does a pretty good job of getting its passengers from A to B, without any frills.
According to Google’s Sergey Brin, “The project is about changing the world for people who are not well-served by transportation today. There’s not great public transportation in many public places in the United States.” Google has also removed components of what makes it a car, such as its steering wheel, an accelerator, and a brake pedal, which does sound a bit scary. Google has also abandoned the backseat, glove compartment, and stereo.
The car is essentially a buggy that is completely computer driven, which is a big step forward for Google. The car has lasers that have a 360-degree view and is able to detect different potential obstacles and figure out what makes them different – for example, picking out cyclists as different from cars or road works. This data can then be used to figure out what the best course of action is – for example, it is able to predict a cyclist’s movements based on hand signals, and will wait whilst the cyclist crosses the car’s path.
Google is planning on building about 100 prototypes over the next year or so and giving them to volunteers to test. The car will only travel at a maximum speed of 40 kilometres per hours, the front of the car will be made with foam, and the windshield will be flexible in the event that it does collide with cyclists or pedestrians.