Riding in Google’s Self-driving Car

(YouTube link)

A few people get to ride in a Google self-driving car. Just press a button and the car takes you where you want to go. How it knows where you want to go isn’t really explained, but this test drive took place in Mountain View, California, where drivers know how to recognize a self-driving car on the streets when they see one. Google says,

It was inspiring to start with a blank sheet of paper and ask, “What should be different about this kind of vehicle?” We started with the most important thing: safety. They have sensors that remove blind spots, and they can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions, which is especially helpful on busy streets with lots of intersections. And we’ve capped the speed of these first vehicles at 25 mph. On the inside, we’ve designed for learning, not luxury, so we’re light on creature comforts, but we’ll have two seats (with seatbelts), a space for passengers’ belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route—and that’s about it.

Since this video was produced by the Google Self-Driving Car Project, you have to wonder who was edited out. I have to consciously not look at the road when someone else is driving, and my husband can’t stand to be in a car at all unless he is driving. Either of us would be jumpy and nervous riding in this car. And you know they wouldn’t include any footage of squirrels getting run over. Still, this could be a great idea for people who are too old to drive or too drunk to drive, when it passes the testing stage. -via Viral Viral Videos

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May be legal reasons for not taking a prototype on the streets. But Google's self-driving cars have logged some 300k miles without an accident, IIR. Though I'm not sure if they have to go on streets that they have hi-res data for.
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