Google’s self-driving car is currently doing wonders in the US. Residents of Mountain View in California are travelling all around in the vehicle.
Google’s self-driving car
The self-driving car constitutes a number of advantages. No driver’s license is required. Furthermore, they are relatively safe: the only 12 accidents reported since September 2014 were caused by humans and not because of the vehicle itself. However, their training wheels are still firmly attached, only reaching speeds of 40 km/h, and the cars need a driver behind the wheel in case of emergency.
Google is now aiming to have the cars cover more distances. Driving more will come with challenges though: for instance, more data would be required to understand the possibilities of what could go wrong when the self-driving cars interact with normal vehicles on the road. The crashes reported so far were not serious; noone was injured. Still, Google researchers wish to determine the plausible hazardous situations that might arise. Then, the car’s AI will be enhanced to fit the new conditions.
Chris Ziegler from The Verge explains that Google has initiated a platform where drivers can narrate their experiences with the cars.
“It’ll probably help that some of the cars are going to become rolling works of art – how can you hate a cute car covered in an even cuter pattern?” said Ziegler. “Then again, the cars are capped at ‘a neighbourhood-friendly 25 mph (40 km/h),’ so if you’ve ever wanted to lay on your horn at an artificially intelligent vehicle that’s going way too slow on a public street, this might be a wonderful opportunity.”