Dated: 11 October 2010

Google’s Self Driving Car

 

There has been a lot of buzz around the internet these last couple of days as the news was released that Google have been testing a car that is controlled completely by a computer – no human interaction required. Although for safety purposes the company does have a driver and a software engineer in the car at all times during testing.

On the Google blog, Sebastian Thrun, Distinguished Software Engineer, wrote, “Our automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps (which we collect using manually driven vehicles) to navigate the road ahead... according to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million lives are lost every year in road traffic accidents. We believe our technology has the potential to cut that number, perhaps by as much as half. We’re also confident that self-driving cars will transform car sharing, significantly reducing car usage, as well as help create the new “highway trains of tomorrow.”

So it seems that there isn’t a single area of technology that Google does not have a finger in and if this new project is working as well and as safe as they claim it seems as though yet one more sci-fi fantasy could be on the verge of becoming a reality. Very exciting times indeed.

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