Google’s Self Driving Car

Google has enchanted the world with it’s adorable “Self Driving Car”.  While the car appears almost cartoon-like, it is the product of years of R&D by the best and the brightest  at the giant tech company.

Here are some specifics about the car:

  • The car will have a stop-go button but no controls, steering wheel or pedals.
  • It will seat two people, propulsion will be electric, and at the start it will be limited to 25mph (40km/h) to help ensure safety.
  • The front end of the vehicle is designed to be safer for pedestrians, with a soft foam-like material where a traditional bumper would be, and a more flexible windscreen, which may help reduce injuries.
  • The vehicle will use a combination of laser and radar sensors along with camera data to drive autonomously.
  • It will depend on Google’s road maps and tested on the company’s current fleet of vehicles.
  • The company plans to build a fleet of around 200 of the cars in Detroit, with the hope of using them as an autonomous technology test bed.

I think this car is exciting from a technology perspective and I can only imagine the incredible sense of freedom that it will allow people with disabilities to have.  But as a person who works on a computer most of the day, I hope they give the passenger some sort of override ability in case something goes horribly wrong (it does on my computer sometimes!)

Enjoy this video about the Self Driving Car project.


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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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