Google developing self-driving cars

October 11, 2010

The future has arrived. It is coming by car. And apparently, according to experts, the car is driving itself.

Google officials revealed Saturday that they are hard at work on road-testing cars driven, not by humans, but by artificial intelligence. [Los Angeles Times]

At Saturday’s TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Google CEO Eric Schmidt declared: “It’s a bug that cars were invented before computers. Your car should drive itself. It just makes sense.”

The experimental cars have already traveled 140,000 miles on major California roads, navigating speed limits and traffic patterns on San Francisco’s Lombard Street and Los Angeles’ Hollywood Boulevard as well as the Pacific Coast Highway.

The self-driving cars use video cameras, radar sensors, and lasers to spot traffic and follow maps.

Google predicts that its self-driving cars — which are still very much in the experimental phase — could reduce traffic accidents and save about 600,000 lives a year worldwide. It also predicts these cars would lower carbon emissions.

According to another newspaper report, robot drivers react faster than humans, have 360-degree perception and do not get distracted, sleepy or intoxicated.

The technology could double the capacity of roads by allowing cars to drive more safely while closer together. Because the robot cars would eventually be less likely to crash, they could be built lighter, reducing fuel consumption.



  1. bobfromsanluis says:

    Oh great, as if drivers weren’t paying enough attention already. Now instead texting while driving, we’ll have people actually on their laptops, or whatever else, with no attention being paid to road conditions or potential dangers ahead. If you are driving an automobile, that is all you should be doing. Not a fan.

    (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
    • zaphod says:

      When this works out it will mean the end of car insurance, Go Google!
      Darpa tried this several different times, and thankfully failed :weaponry
      Google succeeds, :livingry

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
      • danika says:

        How do you figure this will end car insurance? Do you know know about EDP coverage??? Might wanna check that out before celebrating. If a computer is gonna drive your car, you WILL still need coverage. It is still a car with human inside. Human injury isn’t going away in a crash and someone has to pay…

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
        • zaphod says:

          When all the cars on the road are enabled they will be talking amongst themselves avoiding collisions, this car is already good at avoiding collisions operating alone.(it got rear ended once)
          accidents are going to become very rare non existent, computers pay attention and don’t get get mad, the insurance(if any) may be included in the purchase price.paid by the software company Google is not a normal company based on scarcity they create ubiquitous makretplaces ie they are going to give you this as a service so you can access information they provide (best place to eat along the way) so yeah this will change everything for the better. eventually is closer than you think.

          (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  2. Moderator says:

    (4) 4 Total Votes - 4 up - 0 down

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