Thursday, April 7, 2011

Google's Self Driving Car - Hitting 40 in Parking-lots

For years now DARPA has issued a driver-less car challenge, which colleges and companies across the country have entered. Most contestants never finished the competition because they break or crash midway, which is understandable. But these cars were just on a long dirt road, with no other cars nearby; something completely different than real world driving (not saying what they did wasn’t great). Of course the leading technology company had to get a piece of this, sponsoring some teams like Stanford, but never really entering themselves.

But why wouldn’t Google enter their own team? They clearly have the resources, and the brains to dominate in the competition. Well, apparently they didn’t need a competition to make a driver-less car. And skipped all of the testing in remote areas (publicly at least). Google now has a self driving car that they claim can easily navigate through busy streets by itself. Just give it a destination, and it’ll get you there.

In the video below a Google Prius is driving, with limited sensors (keeping the car from looking odder than it already does). The driver does nothing but make sure the car doesn't malfunction, while the aggressive driving is just to show the cars extreme capabilities (so don’t worry about Terminator cars...yet). Google currently has testers driving these cars on the road, who get paid to sit there essentially. So expect this to catch on quickly, although I doubt it'll go into production for a bit; no one wants to hear that a robotic Prius hit some kid chasing after a ball...then again, no one wants to hear that without the car being robotic.

To find more out check out the NYTimes article HERE.

What do you think Google do next? What do you want them to do? #ilovegoogleless than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply


  1. It only hits 40 because that is as fast as a Prius can go...

  2. If they would continue the improvements on this self-driving system, it's definitely gonna exceed its current 43-mph record. The sensor system's pretty good, too.

  3. Wow! It's still on its development stage and it can do this much? If they can fully develop its features and sensors, then it will be a big help to everyone. Cars like these are useful, especially if there are unexpected emergencies, like if the driver is paralyzed.