All Things with Wheels

Google automated cars

Posted on October 12, 2010 | in Global News | by

Google Car

Google is known for its search engine and income generating targeted ads but they are also a company who loves to innovate and create technologies to solve simple to complex problems.

Yesterday, when I was browsing through the internet, I came across an article regarding Google’s new project, “cars that can drive themselves”. In a blog post, Google announced that it has developed a technology for cars to drive themselves without the aid of humans and that they already have logged over 140,000 miles of test runs. These cars are modified Toyota Prius (pictured above) and an Audi TT.

The goal “is to help prevent traffic accidents, free up people’s time and reduce carbon emissions by fundamentally changing car use.”

But how does this thing work? Google also revealed in their blog that:

“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. This is all made possible by Google’s data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by our cars when mapping their terrain.”

Google also explained that the cars were manned by trained operators for safety purposes. The cars were tested from their headquarters in Mountain View, to Santa Monica and to Hollywood Boulevard.

google automated car

This is definitely a breakthrough but I don’t think car enthusiasts will let the computer do the driving. But not always, I suppose. Am I right?

Here’s how the car looks like in action: (video by Robert Scoble; January 2010)

[image via NYT]

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