Google Develops Its Own Self-Driving Car; No Driver or Steering Wheel Required
May 28, 2014 8:56 AM
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Google X's self-driving car currently has a top speed of 25 mph
Google previous efforts in the self-driving car realm have involved
retrofitting existing manufactures’ vehicles
. For example, Google currently maintains a self-driving fleet that includes vehicles like the Lexus RX 450h and the Toyota Prius.
However, Google’s latest self-driving car comes from its own skunkworks group:
. Google X, which previously developed
smart contact lenses that monitor glucose levels for diabetics
, is headed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
The early electric vehicle (EV) prototypes have a top speed of 25 mph, don’t have a steering wheel, and reminds us of a full-size “
.” The interior basically consists of two seats, two seat belts, a display screen that shows the preprogrammed destination, and not much else. But of course, this is just the early prototype stage to test the viability of such a vehicle; so future variants will definitely spruce things up a bit.
Google’s hope for the future is to take humans completely out of the equation when it comes to traffic accidents.
According to Google
, 1.2 million people die worldwide from traffic accidents involving motor vehicles. Of those, 90 percent are caused by human error.
Official Google Blog
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RE: Decisions for fanboys....
5/30/2014 12:40:32 PM
You grossly underestimate how rapidly automation is advancing in all sectors of the economy.
EVs have always been about economics. When gas was $2/gal and batteries were $1000/kWh, they had no chance. At $4/gal and $200/kWh, you now have an order of magnitude difference in the metric that determines EV viability, but it took decades for those conditions to arise.
Automated driving isn't dependent on unit cost or external conditions. It's a software problem. Less than $2000 of actuators, cameras, and computers
is all the hardware we need to statistically put humans to shame in this task. All we have to do is figure out the right code and put together the right dataset, and we've only had less than a decade of economical and adequate computation power to work on it so far.
Mark my words: Within a decade, we'll see automated cars that ask for human override less than once a year.
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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