Google releases report on self-driving cars

Dec 19 2017, 3:39 pm

As Google continues to work on its self-driving cars, a new website has been made that will release monthly reports on the technology’s progress.

The report for the month of May states that 23 Lexus SUVs are currently self-driving on public streets in Mountain View, California. Nine of its prototype vehicles are currently being tested on closed tracks.

Since the multinational technology company started testing in 2009, the vehicles have driven 1,627,591 kilometres on “autonomous mode,” meaning driven by the software.

In the six years of testing, the report says that the self-driving vehicles have been in 12 minor accidents. But states that “not once was the self-driving car the cause of the accident.”

All 12 accidents detailed in the report are described to be caused by another vehicle either colliding with the rear bumper, brushing the side, or rolling through a stop sign. In the scenario of another car forgetting to stop at an intersection, the report says the self-driving vehicle’s autonomous system detected the situation and applied brakes, which minimized damages to the car.

The May report goes on to describe that the cars are now able to react to emergency vehicles by waiting at a green light after it detects an ambulance or police car approaching.

This new website will continue to disclose all accidents that these cars go through, in order to further educate people on their technology and progress.

The driverless car was first announced by Google in 2010, with the company hoping its technology will one day be used by automakers around the world. Google first began testing the driverless technology on a Toyota Prius. After 300,000 miles of testing on freeways, it was tested on the Lexus RX450h before unveiling its own prototype in 2014.

In late May, Google announced its prototype cars will be hitting public roads this summer for testing.

The prototype vehicle, which is built from scratch, resembles a Smart Car. The vehicle has two seats, no steering wheel and no gas pedal. The prototype is electric and currently has to be recharged every 130 km. The car can’t go faster than 40 km/h, and lacks safety installations such as airbags. It can also only drive in roads thoroughly carved out by Google Maps.

Google aims to bring the cars to the market by 2020.

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DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff

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