Google has been involved in lots of sci-fi projects building products secretly in its Labs and Self Driving Cars is one of such Google’s highly ambitious projects. Last month we disclosed how the Technology Giant is testing the self driving cars on the secret racecourse to make the experiment mainstream. But today Google has gone one step further and has announced that its cars now driven 300,000 miles without a single accident under computer control.
It’s not clear though how many of these 300,000 miles were driven on Google’s secret racecourse.
The Google project uses Toyota Priuses equipped with sophisticated technologies like a range of cameras, radar sensors and laser range-finders to see traffic; Google Maps to navigate routes, as expected.
According to today’s update, Google also plans to let some of the team’s members drive the cars solo for their daily commutes. Until now, pair of human drivers was always in the cars, ready to take over in case of any malfunction, although Google says it is now ready to start using just one human per car.
The company also just added a Lexus RX450h to its Prius fleet.
In the past, the Google’s says its robot cars have driven from the Googleplex in Silicon Valley to Santa Monica in LA, gone “down [San Francisco's famously twisty] Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe” — as announced in Google blog two years ago.
Google is creating some disruptive Technology here. It is bringing us closer to the day when we’ll be able to sit back, relax and operate our Laptops during our commute. But the company also admits it has a long way to go.
“To provide the best experience we can, we’ll need to master snow-covered roadways, interpret temporary construction signals and handle other tricky situations that many drivers encounter,” writes Chris Urmson, the driverless car team’s Engineering Lead, in a blog post. “For now, our team members will remain in the driver’s seats and will take back control if needed.”
There have been some accidents that involved Google’s self-driving cars in the past. All of these, however, took place while humans were in control of the cars.