Google's Self-Driving Car Gets the Green Light, Will Hit Public Roads This Summer

Google's Self-Driving Car Gets the Green Light, Will Hit Public Roads This Summer 1 photo
Photo: Google
Hellcat lovers, Lamborghini maniacs, Ferrari enthusiasts, we’re sorry. Your deepest petrolhead dreams, rubber burning passions, illegal drifting plans will soon come to an end. The anti-trust lover is here, and there’s not a lot you can do to stop it from crushing your V8 love. The only thing left to do is having your jaw drop for Google’s self-driving cars.
So you thought those 11 accidents Google’s self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs were involved in would stop them from launching their own, autonomous vehicles, right? Wrong. The IT giant is now taking a well-deserved laugh towards all those non-believers who hoped something would eventually happen, and the cars would fail to prove they're safe.

Drivers, meet the anti-car

The big G has announced today that a small group of prototype vehicles they have created in-house will leave the test track and hit the roads of Mountain View, California this summer. The two-seater - which lacks pedals, steering wheel, and a bunch of other regular car specifics - will be driving on the streets with a rather small speed.

In fact, the smart-looking car lacks air bags and other federally required safety features, so it can’t go more than 25 mph (40 km/h). It’s electric construction keeps things as green as they get these days; its range tops at 80 miles (130 km) on a single charge. Google’s plan was unveiled previously, so we already knew that this is only the first stage, a research and development phase that is conducted on public roads. So there's more? Yes, there's more.

An important step, but far from being the last one

Google claims the development team has run several rigorous tests at their facilities and ensured the vehicle’s software and sensors work as they’re supposed to. However, the grand G claims it’s not just the technology that makes their newest self-driving ride good to go, but also the experience of their bigger brothers, the Lexus SUVs.

These autonomous big boys have been running for quite a while now. The IT giant claims they’ve covered nearly one million autonomous miles on the roads, which is the equivalent of about 75 years of typical American adult driving experience.

During the next phase of our project we’ll have safety drivers aboard with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed. We’re looking forward to learning how the community perceives and interacts with the vehicles, and to uncovering challenges that are unique to a fully self-driving vehicle,” explains Chris Urmson, Director, Google Self-Driving Car Project in today’s blog post.

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