Google’s latest innovation is .. a car! The search major has been developing an autonomous, self-driving robot car, which is expected to give way to various environmental and experiential benefits, uses artificial-intelligence software that can sense anything near the vehicle and mimic the decisions made by a human driver.
The car comes equipped with video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to navigate roads and around other vehicles. The vehicle transmits wirelessly back and forth to Google’s data centers which process the information required.
Up until now, seven test cars have driven 1,000 miles without human intervention and more than 140,000 miles with only occasional human control. On Highway 101, the freeway through Silicon Valley, the car was able to nimbly accelerate in the entrance lane and merge into fast-moving traffic. One of the vehicles even drove itself down the Lombard Street in San Francisco, one of the steepest and curviest streets in the US. The cars are never unmanned. A backup driver is always behind the wheel to monitor the software.
Google said that the main goal of the project is to help prevent traffic accidents, free up people’s time and reduce carbon emissions. The robot drivers will react faster than humans, have 360-degree perception and will not get distracted, sleepy or intoxicated.
Engineers behind the project said that, one of the advantages of the idea is that it could double the capacity of roads by allowing cars to drive more safely, comfortably and efficiently while closer together. Because the cars would eventually be less likely to crash, we will be able to be built lighter vehicles, in turn reducing carbon costs and fuel consumption.
This won’t be the last time we will be hearing about these cars. Although we are years away from the mass production of autonomous cars, it is expected that the idea will revolutionize the world.
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