Google’s most ambitious project yet is developing a self-driving car. The project hit a very important landmark recently when their cars logged 300,000 miles without a single accident. Does this mean you’ll be seeing Google’s self-driving car in your neighbor’s driveway?
Google warns hopeful buyers, “There’s still a long road ahead.” The cars have to undergo many tests and real-life situations before Google even considers taking it to market. The internet company also acknowledges their shortcomings rather than their successes; their autonomous cars have yet to be tested on snow-covered roads, and it remains to be seen how the cars will handle navigating obstacles such as temporary road construction.
The self-driving cars are currently in the early stages to help their employees commute from their home to Google headquarters in Mountain View, California. Before Google’s self-driving cars hit the 300,000 mark, it needed two passengers to safely navigate roadways but now Google feels like their cars are safe enough for one passenger.
It’s unclear if drivers are willing to give up control of their cars to a computer. It seems like a scary thing to do but Chris Urmson, Google’s engineering lead for the self-driving project, says:
One day we hope this capability will enable people to be more productive in their cars … For now, our team members will remain in the driver’s seats and will take back control if needed.
Google divulged their self-driving cars have been in accidents but the accidents were always caused by human interference. Will that make it any less nerve-wracking to be behind the wheel of a car that’s driving itself?