Last week we told you that four more mysterious cities are set to get Alphabet’s self-driving cars in the relatively near future, and now the California company has said (via Reuters) that the next city on the list—following Mountain View, CA and Austin, TX— is Kirkland, Washington…
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In his very first public comments, John Krafcik, chief executive of Google’s self-driving car division (which is still within Google[X] at the time of this writing), reiterated Google’s focus on achieving full autonomy in contrast to the incremental approach being taken by just about every other company pursuing the technology…
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Some parts of Google’s self-driving car are still mysterious, but slowly more pieces of that mystery are being uncovered. One mystery, in particular, has been the inside of the car. While Google has allowed dozens of journalists, random lucky souls, and Google employees (of course) to ride in the car, only on very few occasions have we been able to see the inside. The company specifically told journalists not to take pictures of the inside at an event earlier this year, and we barely got a glimpse into a very early prototype in Google’s “A First Drive” video last summer. Now, with a couple of patents Google has received, we’re getting a more detailed look inside for the first time… expand full story
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Up to June of this year, Google’s self-driving cars had yet to be at fault in any accidents, and it seems that record has held true over the last few months. Of the dozen or so accidents up to that point, the majority had happened when the self-driving car wasn’t even moving, and the rest occurred when Google’s safety drivers were in control of the vehicles.
Unfortunately, in the months after Google released the first report, Google’s cars continued to see a couple of accidents per month. But that trend has come to an interesting halt recently. As we’ve learned thanks to Google’s recently-published October report, the self-driving cars have now gone more than two months without a single accident… expand full story
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Update: When reached for comment, Google pointed us to its Twitter account’s response (below), which it said is accurate. While it doesn’t directly address the reports, it does seem to hint Google is working on a Lyft-style ride-sharing app and that it doesn’t view it as a direct competitor to Uber. Following the original reports, Uber made its announcement official on its website.
[tweet https://twitter.com/google/status/562392039459807232 align=’center’]
Update 2: Google has reportedly told the Wall Street Journal that the app in question is a carpooling app created by one of its engineers for Google employees. It is said to be unrelated to Google’s self-driving car.
Uber, the app-based car service in which Google is an investor, is about to announce a new investment into building its own fleet of driverless vehicles, according to a report from TechCrunch. Although the specific details are unclear at this point, the report comes just as news breaks that Google is developing its own ride-sharing app that could be a possible competitor to Uber. expand full story