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Author Topic: Google rolls out driverless cars  (Read 216 times)

Offline mastercode (OP)

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Google rolls out driverless cars
« on: June 29, 2015, 11:05:09 AM »
Google has released a fleet of self-driving cars onto the roads of Mountain View, California.

Google?s autonomous cars ? which were released onto suburban roads yesterday ? are presently making 25mph (40kph) trips around neighbourhoods.
The vehicles ? which Google first announced were in development over a year ago ? come equipped with a removable steering wheel as well as a traditional accelerator and brake in case something goes awry on the road.

Google officially gave the first green light for road tests over a month ago, but this marks the first occasion that the company?s driverless cars have been sighted out in the wild.
googlecar-e1401261602733Google?s present prototype driverless car was first unveiled in December last year

The vehicles themselves make use of the same software found in Lexus? smart cars which have seen road action previously. According to the company, using Lexus? pre-developed software exponentially reduces the risk of an incident.

However, a recent report out of Paulo Alto indicates that one of Google?s driverless cars (a Lexus model) had a near traffic incident with a similarly driverless Delphi vehicle being tested by Audi.

While such an incident refreshingly reminds us that perhaps even software can make human error, Google vouches that the current prototype model (which is guided by an array of sensors, radar and laser modules) should reduce a great proportion of road incidents in practice.

The current prototype model (presently on the streets in Mountain View) was first unveiled in December last year and is the result of continuous testing since Google first tested self-driving technology on Toyota?s Prius model.

What are your thoughts on driverless vehicles? Could such technology benefit South Africa? Let us know in the comments below!



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