According to a report over the weekend from Crain’s Detroit Business, Google/Alphabet is seeking an R&D site for its self-driving cars near Ann Arbor, Michigan. This report comes as FCC documents last month revealed that the Mountain View company was planning to bring the cars to four new cities. Kirkland, Washington officially became one of those locations two weeks ago, and as we noted, a location near Ann Arbor makes perfect sense to be one of the next bunch… expand full story
autonomous Stories February 15, 2016
autonomous Stories February 3, 2016
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…
autonomous Stories January 12, 2016
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…
autonomous Stories December 1, 2015
November’s self-driving car report reveals 1 very minor accident, not much else
Google publishes a report for its self-driving car project once a month, and today — appropriately — the company published the report for November. Today’s report is notably unexciting, but it does mean the end of a two-month streak of the cars being accident-free. That said, the accident that Google details in this report is barely an accident…
Once again, Google wasn’t at fault in yet another fender-bender:
A vehicle approaching from behind came to a stop and then rolled forward and collided with the rear bumper of the Google AV. The approximate speed of the other vehicle at the time of impact was 4 MPH. The speed of the Google AV at the time of impact was below 1 MPH.
Other than this minor accident, which bumps the total number of accidents the cars have been involved in to 17, there’s not much new here. The cars have now driven a total of 1,320,755 autonomous miles, and 955,771 manual miles. The total number of Lexus cars on the road is the same, but there are now 30 prototypes out and about.
You can read the full report for yourself at Google’s website.
autonomous Stories November 30, 2015
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
autonomous Stories November 4, 2015
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
autonomous Stories February 2, 2015
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
autonomous Stories May 7, 2013
(Googlers turned Sergey Brin’s Tesla Model S into a pink Batmobile for April Fool’s Day)
According to a report from Bloomberg, Tesla’s Elon Musk has discussed with Google the possibility of adding self driving vehicle technology to its fleet of all-electric cars. The problem, says Musk, is that Google’s approach to the technology is currently too expensive compared to camera-based systems:
“The problem with Google’s current approach is that the sensor system is too expensive,” Musk said. “It’s better to have an optical system, basically cameras with software that is able to figure out what’s going on just by looking at things… “We’ve had some technical discussions with Google” about its Light Detection and Ranging, or Lidar, laser tracking system, Musk said last week, noting that it’s an expensive approach that may not prove feasible, Musk said.
While it’s possible Google could contribute to bringing the driverless features to future Tesla vehicles, Musk told Bloomberg it’s more likely the company will develop its own “autopilot system”. That’s something that other automakers are already doing with Toyota, Lexus, and Audi all showing off self-driving car technology at CES back in January: expand full story
autonomous Stories January 4, 2013
Toyota, Lexus, and Audi to show off their own Google-like self-driving cars at CES
While Google often uses Toyota vehicles in its fleet of self-driving cars, Toyota is planning to show off its own autonomous car technology next week at CES. As noted by The Wall Street Journal, Toyota yesterday posted a short five-second clip of its advanced active safety research vehicle, a Lexus LS 600h, equipped with advanced cameras and sensors. Toyota confirmed to the WSJ that its system is being developed independently from Google. Audi is also said to have self-driving capabilities ready to demonstrate at CES in Las Vegas next week. We’ll be on hand with live coverage from Las Vegas, and we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for any vehicles driving around by themselves.
Toyota’s prototype vehicle is a Lexus LS 600h fitted with radar and camera equipment that can detect other vehicles, road lane lines and traffic signals, giving the vehicle the ability to navigate streets without a driver. It also includes what appears to be the same roof-mounted laser that Google Inc. has been using on its autonomous research cars. Google began testing self-driving cars in 2009.
An Audi official also said the luxury-car company will be demonstrating autonomous vehicle capabilities at the Las Vegas show, including a feature that allows a car to find a parking space and park itself without a driver behind the wheel.
Earlier this year, Cadillac also showed off its own “Super Cruise” self-driving car technology.