Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Google Test 'Self-Drive' Cars

BBC reports: [edited]

Engineers at Google have tested a self-driving car on the streets of California, the company has announced. The cars use video cameras mounted on the roof, radar sensors and a laser range finder to "see" other traffic, software engineer Sebastian Thrun said.

They remain manned at all times by a trained driver ready to take control as well as by a software expert. Google hopes the cars can eventually help reduce road traffic and cut the number of accidents. In a posting on the company's official blog, Mr Thrun said the self-driven cars had so far covered 140,000 miles on the road.

They have crossed San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate bridge, negotiated the city's famous sloping streets, driven between Google offices, and made it around Lake Tahoe in one piece.

Engineers told the New York Times that the forays onto the highways have been largely incident-free, apart from one bump when the car was reportedly hit from behind at a traffic light.

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