Saturday - May 18, 2024

Google Self-Driving Car – No More Steering Wheel


Google's self-driving car project is certainly causing a lot of interest, it is one of the most talked about projects on the web, and it doesn't look like it's going to stop being a hot topic with the latest video entitled “A First Drive” released by the Google Driving Car Project on YouTube. This video now presents a brand new, smaller model.

The Google self-driving project has been going on for a while, with the first experimental ride being revealed in the form of a Toyota Prius in March 28th, 2012. This model had an emergency steering wheel at the time to ensure that if anything went wrong, the human being the wheel would be able to correct things. However, in this new video presented in late May 2014, Google state it was confident enough to take away the steering wheel and let the car's artificial intelligence take care of any incoming pedestrians, cyclists and other obstacles. Through its 360 degrees cameras, the car is able to draw a map of the environment with a specific color code for each type of element. The car can indeed take care of details as small as a cyclist signaling he wants to turn left with his arm and perform accurate parking.

Some of the main features put forward by Google for the inclusion of these driverless cars one the road is just how smooth and peaceful the ride is, and how it can allow disabled or old people to get around more easily. This latest video clearly shows how the vehicle could help the aging population in regaining their independence, with a blind man enjoying the potential stress-life that this could provide him. The car makes slow turns in parking lots, accelerates just at the right time in curves and of course, shows good behavior in traffic. Google's vehicles have gone quite the distance with over 700 000 miles under their belt, so the artificial intelligence has gotten used to more and more complex situations, such as in downtown traffic.

The issues raised by the public on this dream project is how possible accidents would turn out – would the legal accusations be heading towards the driver or Google? Google than answers that it aims to make legal issues one of their main priorities heading in the future. The 360 degrees camera on the roof could certainly help to support legal cases with video proof of the incidents. Google aims to provide more information on that aspect in the future.

Is the Google self-driving car ready to replace standard cars? Comedian Conan O’Brien may disagree, has he recently made his opinion known on the subject with an hilarious video on this possible of driverless cars outlining the downsides of having no human behind the wheel. You can check the video on YouTube here:

Does the vehicule calculate the presence of animals? We will have to ask Google!