How Google’s Self-Driving Cars Can Protect Humans From Themselves [Video]


A new video shows how the Self Driving Car Project is keeping cars and other people safe on the road.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 30 april 2014

Google has been working on its self-driving car project for a few years now with the goal of transforming how people drive cars. The company’s automated cars are equipped with tools designed to make them safe and efficient, like cameras, radar sensors, laser range finders, and software that enable the cars to navigate through the streets.

The project has shifted its focus to making the self-driving car safe and efficient on city streets, which are more complex than freeways and rural roads. Google is working on making sure that the car can drive safely through busy streets filled with pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles coming from different directions.

In its latest project update, the company released a video showing the self-driving car on the city streets. The video shows how the car drives through common situations near the company’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Google has improved the software of the self-driving car to allow it to recognize and navigate around busy streets, construction zones, railroad crossings, buses, pedestrians, and even cyclists. The car can detect all sorts of objects coming at it and pay attention to what’s happening in its environment in a way that a human driver can’t.

Google has also developed software models that enables the car to anticipate and react to different kinds of situations that range from the expected or likely to the unlikely and unexpected. For example, the car will be able to react to another car stopping at a red light and to a car beating the red light.

In the video, the self-driving car encounters a construction zone and recognizes the warning cones early and is able to change lanes safely. The car is also able to detect large obstacles like a truck parked on the side of the road and safely steers clear from it. The video also shows how the car detects the railroad stop and red fence as it approaches a railroad crossing.

Google’s self-driving cars have already logged in around 700,000 autonomous miles and it still has a long way to go, but the company is confident that it won’t be long before they finally release a car that can drive without any human intervention whatsoever.

Google Blog


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