Google confirms their self-driving cars will be on public roads this summer


google self driving prototype

Google’s self-driving vehicle prototypes are real, but they have yet to be tested in very real environments. That will change this summer, according to the Mountain View company.

They confirmed that the cars would be out on public roads in Mountain View as early as this summer, though obviously not without training wheels. Each vehicle will be manned by a human test driver who will have detachable steering wheels and pedals to take over driving whenever they need.

Each prototype’s speed will be hard capped at 25 miles per hour, which isn’t exactly freeway-friendly pace but should be both slow and fast enough for safe travels through small residential and commercial areas.

Google says their goal within the next few years is to learn what people would use these vehicles for by running a small pilot program. That’s a seemingly long wait for baseline consumer trialing, though this sort of technology is so new and delicate that you have to expect it to take years before a commercial product comes to market.

In the meantime just sit back, enjoy the ride (no pun intended) and know that Google is inching closer and closer to an autonomous future for roadways each and every day.

[via Google]

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Star Trek S02E24 The Ultimate Computer

    1. and ads lots of ads

      1. “Take me to the hospital!”

        “We’ll be passing an Amazon outlet along the way. Stop and shop?”

        1. No, the drone will just follow you and deliver the item when you get to the hospital

          1. Obviously. :)

        2. “Take us to the hospital” “No need, amazon delivers babies now… Via drones.”

  2. that is the ugliest, yet smartest thing on the roads by far. I’m sure if that thing was driving around here in Florida, all the rednecks would shoot it. Its like Maximum Overdrive all over again! Minus the bad acting.

  3. I wouldn’t trust them considering all of the accidents. This is a disaster waiting to happen. Driver-less cars are not going to be a thing for decades.

    1. IRIC, all the accidents so far have been due to human error. (E.g. – somebody rear-ending one of the cars.)

      1. Not to mention all of those accidents from the double-take of humans seeing a driverless car and taking their attention off of the road in front of them….

    2. Can’t be any worse than 90 percent off the drivers that are on the road now.

    3. According the statistics that came out a few days ago (others have linked to the story), self-driving cars have very *few* accidents, and most of those were humans rear-ending the self-driving car.

  4. Tesla has self-driving capability in freeway already in production. and it has summon feature. google is too slow. 25mph? that’s school zone speed, lame.

  5. “Google Car has closed unexpectedly”….

  6. I know that it’s just a baby step, but 25mph neighborhood traffic is probably the least useful application of self driving cars from a consumer perspective. I get that a lot of accidents occur in those situations, but I think rush hour and long distance driving are where the real benefit comes from.

    Obviously on long hauls, self driving would relieve the issue of driver fatigue and the tendencyto zone out. For rush hour, you have the potential increased efficiency in changing lanes and merging/exiting. There’s also the benefit of getting work done during the commute.

    I look forward to when the move up to more practical cars that have much larger blind spots.

  7. This can EASILY overthrow the taxi industry, or… replace a lot of people. I don’t see the replacement as a bad thing though. Once robots control everything, we won’t need to “make money”. Then the innovation will be against the robots, like how people play chess against computers. Our knowledge will gain from trying to outclass something that has access to everything.

    Soon, us humans will understand everything and control the universe.

    No, I’m not waking up from my dream.
    #TooManySciFiMovies #ThemTheoriesThough #ItsNotEvenATheory

    1. Humans have nothing to worry about. Robots have no interest in harming slow, inefficient, weak, annoying humans.

  8. It’s plain to see that investors need to not just sell Google stock, but mortgage their homes to short it as well. Recent headlines tell us that 11 self driving cars have been involved in accidents over the last 4 years, none of which where their fault. BUT this clearly indicates that self driving cars act as magnets for poor human drivers that crash into them, drawn like moths to a flame. When Google launches this doomed test program, with cars so obviously different and weird looking, I predict that bad drivers will be drawn to slamming into them and by the end of the summer not a single Google driver less car will survive. This shall put the final nail in the coffin of this idea and the lawsuits will bankrupt Google;) And since Google is secretly working on Skynet, the death of its benefactor shall obviously trigger judgement day and the war between mankind and machines. Abandon all hope for the end is nigh!;)

    1. I agree that there are MANY stupid and incompetent drivers out there, but I would have loved to see each individual collision on camera. Each scenario might have been different and not caused by some tard staring at the Google car. However, I believe that many of the collisions were probably caused by idiot drivers frantically getting their cell phones out to snap a quick picture.

  9. I know … Get me to Vegas and back to LA

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