Saturday, 18 August 2012

Self-driving Google cars: 300,000 miles, 0 crashes

Advances keep coming. In a little over a decade, self-driving cars have advanced from “unlikely” in the ’90s, to “maybe in our lifetime” in the 00s, to today, where autonomous driving seems very likely in the next 10 years. A reliability milestone was reached this summer when the fleet of self-driving Google cars passed 300,000 miles with no accidents. Conveniently for the rest of the world, it’s a round number in metric distances, approximately 500,000 kilometers. Google has a dozen test cars on the road most of the time. There’s always a driver behind the wheel ready to take over and a bevy of instruments monitoring data feeds and the on-board software. Soon, Google says the self-driving car team will be a solo show with the driver-in-waiting only. It’s also adding different vehicles to the fleet, most recently a Lexus RX450h hybrid SUV (main photo).

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