Google has been the pioneer in developing self-driving cars since the concept gained popularity in recent times. Most of us have seen these driverless cars in movies like The Internship. It looks more like a modified version of Toyota Prius than a car made especially for this purpose. To make this concept more practical, Google will be introducing a hundred remodelled self-driven cars on California roads to prepare them for an eventual commercial launch.
The car is a midget of a machine looking more like a circus car or a pod than an actual car seen on the road (sorry Google). It is built as a smart car that consumes less fuel and primarily meant for intra-city travel more than highways due to its low speed and limited battery backup. Nevertheless, it is significantly more advanced than the previous self-driven car that Google was working n. It can drive, recognize road signs and take some degree of evasive action all on its own. But, due to the heavy reliance on advanced mapping, the cars cannot be used in any other area at the moment. But as these next generation mapping techniques are applied to more areas, the car’s radius of operation will increase.
The pods don’t have safety measures like airbags and others, so their speed is limited to 25 Km/h, according to California state law. Other laws also enforce the presence of a steering wheel and manual override that Google is lobbying to get removed. An initial launch of 25 vehicles will be seen in the coming months and further 75 will join the fleet soon afterwards.
Google co-founder Sergey Brinn says that the ultimate achievement of self-driven cars is to eliminate the human error that causes a sickening 90 percent of accidental casualties throughout the world. He says that his technology giant doesn’t wish to be a part of the automotive sector any time soon. The reasons behind the continuous involvement of Google is that it want to develop the autonomous technology and allow automakers to manufacture self-driven cars. Other automakers and tech people are also experimenting with driverless cars. But, the five years target that Google has set for itself is far more ambitious than the others who, generally, give a ten-year timeline for it to happen. Google’s autonomous cars have clocked an impressive 1.7 million miles and as the distance increases, so does their expertise and Artificial intelligence required to make the vehicle.
So far, there have been no accidents when the car has been on the self-driving mode. The odd incident happened when the car was in manual mode, so the cars are very safe, but the interest of the public isn’t on fully automated cars at all. They want interchangeability between manual and the AI mode. Google should either develop such a convertible car or raise public awareness regarding it. Click here to see the full video here:
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