Google Working On Auto Driving Cars

Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Their next step into that realm is making auto driving cars. The Google Blog announced Google has “developed technology for cars that can drive themselves.” Yes, auto-driving cars, like from the movies and high tech TV shows.

Google’s reasoning behind this move is to make the roads safer and reduce accidents. Google said they have been testing this for a while and have already driven 140,000 miles with trained safety drivers who can override the system at any time. Google explained the cars figure out how to drive using video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps (which we collect using manually driven vehicles) to navigate the road ahead – which is all pulled from Google’s data centers. I won’t get into the possible privacy issues of Google navigating all the cars in the world.

How soon until you or I can get this installed on our cars? Google said, “While this project is very much in the experimental stage, it provides a glimpse of what transportation might look like in the future thanks to advanced computer science. And that future is very exciting.”

The New York Times has pictures and a video, which I will embed below. There is also a diagram of how the cars are modified.

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More discussion on this topic can be found on Techmeme.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Cars | Google: General | Google: Labs | Google: Mobile | Google: Transit | Top News

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://www.tcampbell.net T Campbell

    Google’s mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Their next step into that realm is making auto driving cars.

    Well, duh, Autobot librarians, it’s so obvious once you think of it.

  • Candace

    Google has developed an auto equipped with technology that enables the automobile to drive without an actual driver. The Google cars are Toyota Prius hybrids outfitted with radars, GPS and AI software. The experimental vehicles have driven thousands of miles without human hands on the wheel. The Google automobile is one of many projects on a growing list that the search-engine company has initiated recently that seek to establish new technological directions in key industries.

  • wisori

    I think google is on the wrong path here….

    Building intelligent roadways and having thin clients (=cars, trucks etc) is the future. Imagine the road giving instruction to cars, you wont need a driver at all. Some undergrounds, high speed trains using similar technology for decades. Put a power grid under the road, clients (road,trucks, bicycles, etc) can run from electricity provided by solar and other green technology transferring the power form optimal power generating locations (US sun belt) on the same grid under the road.

    There is a solar technologies where the pavement have solar power generating capabilities… add that to the pack.

    To save infrastructure cost we would only install this technology where most commuting and transfer happens like freeways, major connecting roads, etc. Residential roads, roads with little traffic do not need to be powerized and/or intelligent. Clients can be driven by human, they would have energy storage which would be recharged while driving on powerized road. Most of your driving still would be unattended, you could work, play with your kids, or take a nap. Your navigation system would wake you when your attention needed, example need to drive off teh intelligent highway. If you don’t wake up the system keeps you on the intelligent roadway and park you car in the nearest intelligent garage.

    The roadways intelligence is driven by computer network that monitors traffic. It would optimize travel for all, setting lane changes, speed etc. There would be no accidents. You will not see a guy cutting you off creating braking domino effects then you see him again 10 minutes later as he has not gained anything but only messing up traffic flow.

    Obviously to build this would be a huge… but we have demonstrated similar effort when we built the railroads 150 years ago or the great things we built after the big recession hover damn, golden gate, bay bridge, many major freeways etc….

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