Google’s self driving car spotted on the streets of Washington D.C.

Driverless cars might seem like a thing of the distant future, but thanks to Google auto-piloted vehicles are no longer science fiction. The search giant was recently awarded a license to begin testing the vehicle on public streets in Nevada, a first for such a car, and the Google-outfitted Toyota Prius has now been spotted as far east as the nation’s capital. The project still has a way to go before the general public will be able to purchase cars outfitted with Google’s self-driving system, but when the day comes it isn’t a stretch to imagine your smartphone will be heavily integrated into the controls. You could use an Android device to program routes, check vehicle diagnostics or set preferences, and do basic things like control the radio. Pretty sweet.

[Thanks, Josh!]

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  • http://twitter.com/Defenestratus Defenestratus

    I already use my phone to do vehicle diagnostics. It even reprograms my ECU when I want.

    Torque.

    Know it. Love it.

    • steveb944

      How does one do this?

      • Alexander Ramirez

        “Torque”, it’s an app. You need to have an adapter for it.

        • Brian S.

          where does one buy one of these adapters, i will spread the word. that’s going to save so many people i know so much money

  • LiterofCola

    The jack-ass pedestrians in this city that blatantly dart into the streets without so much as a look for incoming traffic would probably bring this car to a screeching halt.

    • Magus2300

      Probably why they want to test it in a major city… gather data on how the system reacts to unexpected events like that.

      • sc4fpse

        *thump*
        Tester’s note: Code needs refining.

      • TheScientists

        They’ve already tested this scenario, thoroughly, thus the license granted to Google by NV. They wouldn’t be letting it loose in major cities, if this scenario wasn’t already covered.

    • Mimsyborogove923

      I saw a video of when they first started testing it and this happened a few times in the video. It actually responded really well, slowing down smoothly and just enough to let the people pass, only stopping if it needed to.

    • TheScientists

      Yep, bringing the car to a screeching halt is exactly the idea. That would mean all the systems are working as they should, and the car is a success. And this scenario has already been thoroughly tested, thus, the license granted for testing in Nevada.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1585494940 Miguel Angel Reyes Jr.

    Google-Skynet anyone?

  • http://www.facebook.com/zebroski Kevin Zebroski

    I’d say the test failed if the car is licensed in NV, and is being Spotted in DC. Just a “tad” off course…

    • http://twitter.com/calebgalaraga Caleb Galaraga

      LOL on this one!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1617996281 Wes Loveday

    Hey maybe if this catches on, DUIs will become rare and nightlife will come back. It’s never been that people don’t want to have a good time, but going out to drink soda or juice sucks. Those who risk it have their own set of problems that makes it less enjoyable too. In the end, the nightlife entertainment industry has never been the same since the mid 80′s. Not many places to go, and fewer bands to see because business can’t support it. Imagine if musicians could make a living again!

    • Magus2300

      Agreed on the DUI thing. Man if this was publicly available and cheap/reliable enough to really work for everyone… it’d be awesome. Personally I would probably not really drive much again. I’d just let the car drive itself while I chat on IM and browse the web!

    • Eric Silva

      This could be the demise of some Taxi companies who rely on getting drunks home for a main source of income.

      • Richard Braley

        I can now see google as not even offering the cars for end users but running their own taxi service. It’ll be cheaper than a taxi but you’ll just have to listen to advertisements the entire way. Maybe it’ll be like cash cab, you just listen to the ads while you go on your trip and the trip is free. lol

        • sc4fpse

          That’s a great business model… until all your customers end up falling asleep in the backseat, never hearing a single ad. :P

  • Aaron Peromsik

    The phone integration better be optional, because if my car is driving itself I will probably be /using/ my phone. (Or maybe sometimes a laptop, in which case the phone would be free to run the car…)

    • Brian S.

      do u think it’s lame how ford is trying to do stuff like this?

      they actually compare their technology to google’s. ive called them and asked and they told me it was the same thing. who would believe that?

  • Magus2300

    If this becomes a reality within the next 10 years… I WILL buy one.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

      My wife has a condition called Nystagmus. Makes it very difficult for her to drive. (She’s had a learners permit for a few years and is about to take her 1st test) She’s extremely excited about the prospect of this thing.

      • Magus2300

        I hope she gets to have one some day.

    • Brian S.

      i cant wait to buy one of these things. lol you know, i bet the first auto maker with this technology tries jacking the price way up lol. “duh look we have the first one of these”

  • user311

    Gotta love progress; Google teaches cars to drive, and Apple teaches Siri to lie…

    • EarlyMon

      Quote of the day!

    • TechGuy22

      that was awesome dude

    • http://twitter.com/ADWheelerPhoto A.D. Wheeler

      We can’t even teach HUMANS to drive…..

    • anywherehome

      you’re right, not any surprise:
      https://sites.google com/site/corpsins/

  • SuperTomcat

    I imagine this car can drive by itself but with a driver behind the wheel, right?
    How nice would be go to the train station driven by your car and then just the car go back to home… to the end of the day it goes back for you in the train station.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

      It doesn’t NEED a driver, technically, just legally.

  • BulletTooth_Tony

    It better hit the gas the exact nanosecond the light turns green, or people will honk at it like it changed 1 minute ago…

    Also, it better learn to get in the right “lane” on a 2 lane street (read: parking lane) and floor it off that green light to get ahead of 1 car… either that, or smash into the parked cars on the other side of the intersection.

    • Magus2300

      Or people could just learn to not drive like douchebags…………. I know… I know.

      • BulletTooth_Tony

        Ever driven in DC? You’d be asking, approximately, millions of people to change their driving habits. As a New Yorker, I was surprised by how they road rage when I moved there…

        • Magus2300

          I’ve lived in NY most of my life and in LA for the past 6 years, I know how bad it can get, hence the “I know… I know…” part of my comment. A man can hope, right?

        • TheScientists

          I thought you were describing a typical drive in Chicago. Most aggressive drivers I’ve ever seen.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EF545LL7BGCJSGHMM5GZRMBQFE yahoo-EF545LL7BGCJSGHMM5GZRMBQFE

    I’m anxious to hear from the Apple fanboys as to why this is stupid and why Apple hasn’t done anything like this.

    • Magus2300

      Apple will copy it with the iCar and claim they did it first.

      • Brian S.

        dude apple did this decades ago already when the first apple employee bought their first car and thought about it being able to drive itself, that was before google was even around..

  • SatyaChowdary

    hope google will patent this before apple sues google of copying the ICAR…

  • Eric Silva

    I love driving, but I hate how bad many drivers are. With this you would be able to predict what another car will do and there will be lesser times that someone will do something asinine.

    • EarlyMon

      What it lacks in predictions for other drivers, it can make up in online insurance quotes.

      Just kidding. You make a good point. If cars to talk to one another, a lot of traffic issues could be avoided.

    • Brian S.

      i hear that about ppl being bad drivers. im in disbelief of how many times ive watched someone pull out into the road and not look in either direction. not even a quick glance, i live in the city – cars could definitely be coming from either direction …. wtf?

  • Anthony McKay

    I hope the Google car sees that women (that’s probably not paying attention anyway) crossing the road or this is going to be a real short project by Google.

    • Eric Silva

      I’m sure Google will build in sensors for “pretarded people” (Pretarded – def: Premeditated Retardedness)

      They may also have a proximity detection to people who are talking and/or playing around on their phones.

      • Anthony McKay

        That way the Google car can speed up and hit everyone using iphones! Genius!

  • http://www.facebook.com/magikbiped Marcus Powell

    I’ll be the first to sign up to be an eX-Driver when these things go haywire.

  • Alexander Ramirez

    I can imagine the car having the ability to speak:

    “And as we enter downtown, you can see that there’s a Pizza joint to your left where a large pizza with 3 toppings is just $6.99 if you act now! Add a drink for just a $1.99 more.”

  • Brian S.

    im getting sick of these article they all say this at most, save a few specific details:

    Driverless cars might seem like a thing of the distant future, but thanks to Google auto-piloted vehicles are no longer science fiction. The search giant was recently awarded a license to begin testing the vehicle on public streets in Nevada, a first for such a car. The project still has a way to go before the general public will be able to purchase cars outfitted with Google’s self-driving system, but when the day comes it isn’t a stretch to imagine your smartphone will be heavily integrated into the controls. You could use an Android device to program routes, check vehicle diagnostics or set preferences, and do basic things like control the radio. Pretty sweet.

    All i did was delete 1 sentence from the entire article.