Truly autonomous vehicles are poised to be an exciting technology, but as with any other technology, there are always regulatory hurdles to be cleared. As first spotted by public records sleuth Mark Harris, a bill working its way through the California legislature would require the state’s DMV to effectively legalize Google’s ambitions of having a driverless fleet of self-driving Koala cars… expand full story
electric Stories April 12, 2016
electric Stories February 5, 2016
According to some FCC documents recently unearthed, Alphabet’s X division (formerly Google[x]) has its sights set on disconnecting the cute fully-electric self-driving car prototypes from their wall chargers. Yes, we’re talking wireless charging, the kind that could beam up energy through the bottom of the car using a technology called resonant magnetic induction…
electric Stories January 28, 2016
Google’s self-driving car project first came to Austin, Texas in July of last year, marking its first expansion outside of Google’s hometown of Mountain View, California. It was a logical next step, considering Austin’s forward-thinking political culture and unique environmental challenges (“pedicabs, pickup trucks, and everything in between,” Google said). Now, it appears—thanks to some recently-published FCC documents (via Mark Harris)—that Google has plans to bring the self-driving car program to four more mysterious cities…
electric 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…
electric 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.
electric Stories September 12, 2015
When Google originally showcased the newer low-speed “cute-mobile” self-driving car, it mentioned a goal of having about 100 of them on the road for testing within a couple years. Now, as the company is bringing its low-speed electric prototypes to Austin a year later, Sarah Hunter, head of policy for Google [X], has revealed that the company is expanding production of the cars (via The Guardian). Hunter says that Google is now producing at least a “few hundred” and hints at a potential future of mass-production… expand full story