Google driverless car Stories January 14, 2016

Medium’s tech hub editor-in-chief Steven Levy provides an interesting behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to be a test-(non)driver of one of Google’s self-driving cars. Among the more surprising facts is that there’s a four-week full-time course to qualify to sit behind the wheel of one of the company’s testbed Lexus cars – with additional training needed for the cute prototype cars with only emergency controls.

There’s an abbreviated version for those who will only be sitting in the cars on the company’s private test facility. If you fancy the job, the most reliable way to apply, says Levy, is to be friends with an existing driver. If you can’t swing that, there’s always the option of applying to be a professional pedestrian …

expand full story

Google driverless car Stories September 29, 2015

Google’s self-driving cars may have an impressive safety record – having never caused an accident in more than a million miles of driving on public roads – but the company admits that their ultra-cautious approach can make them a little unpredictable and annoying to other drivers, reports the WSJ. Examples include taking a very wide approach on turns, and braking at the slightest sign of danger.

The cars are “a little more cautious than they need to be,” Chris Urmson, who leads Google’s effort to develop driverless cars, [said]. “We are trying to make them drive more humanistically” … 

expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Google driverless car Stories September 14, 2015

If there were any remaining question about whether Google plans to actually proceed to a full-scale commercial launch of its self-driving car at some point, a hire reported late last night by Automotive News seems to remove any doubt. It reports that Google has hired John Krafcik, former Hyundai CEO and a car industry veteran, to head up the program.

Krafcick refers in an email to the cars being used by “millions” of people.

“This is a great opportunity to help Google develop the enormous potential of self-driving cars,” Krafcik wrote in an email to Automotive News. “This technology can save thousands of lives, give millions of people greater mobility, and free us from a lot of the things we find frustrating about driving today. I can’t wait to get started.” 

expand full story

Google driverless car Stories July 24, 2015

Nest founder and former Apple iPod lead designer Tony Fadell has intimated in a BBC interview that the decision to make an early version of Google Glass available for public sale may have been a mistake.

He said that while Google has always launched beta versions of its products and gathered feedback from users, there was a very big difference between software and hardware.

If you are only doing services based on electrons, you can iterate quickly, test it, and modify it and get it right. But when you are dealing with actual atoms – hardware – and you have to get manufacturing lines and it takes a year or more to develop that product, you better understand what it is and what it’s trying to do and specifically what it’s not going to do.

Customers have to spend money to buy those atoms. They want something that delivers value or you end up with a real disappointment and you can spoil the market.

He was, however, “very bullish” about the product, and believes it has a big future …  expand full story

Google driverless car Stories July 17, 2015

Google’s self-driving cars are drawing a lot of attention and conversation online. Perhaps one of the biggest concerns from regular people like you and I is how safe they are. But as a recent video and blog post shows, you’re seemingly infinitely far more likely to be hit by another driver not paying attention, than your car malfunctioning and crashing in to someone else. But why do Google’s cars get hit so much?

Chris Urmson posted a really interesting article about what it’s like being hit by another car, driven by a human, while taking a ride in a self-driving Googlemobile. Urmson notes that the autonomous cars are being hit “surprisingly often”, despite their fancy array of sensors, processors and algorithms.

expand full story

Google driverless car Stories June 19, 2015

California’s Department of Motor Vehicles has released brief factual details of six accidents involving Google and Delphi self-driving cars, after the Associated Press successfully argued that legitimate public interest in the safety of the cars outweighed normal confidentiality rules. Self-driving cars were not found to be at fault in any of the accidents, and there were no injuries.

According to the reports, most of the cars were in self-driving mode when the accidents happened, and the other driver caused the accident. None of the crashes were serious enough to injure the person the state requires to sit behind the wheel, and the reports say none of the people in the other cars were treated for injuries either.

Five of the six accidents involved Google cars, and four of those were with the car in self-driving mode. The DMV was unaware of eight other accidents involving Google autonomous cars until the company shared the information during a conference call in April …  expand full story

Powered by WordPress.com VIP