Google’s Self-Driving Cars To Hit The Streets Of California This Summer

By @SubhroPrakashG on
Chris Urmson, (L) director of Google's Self-Driving Car Project, and team members Brian Torcellini, Dmitri Dolgov, Andrew Chatham and Ron Medford (R), who is director of safety for the project, pose for a photograph in front of a self-driving car at the Computer History Museum after a presentation in Mountain View, California May 13, 2014. As Google expands beyond Web search and seeks a foothold in the automotive market, the company's eagerness has begun to reek of arrogance to some in Detroit, who see danger as well as promise in Silicon Valley. To match Insight GOOGLE-DETROIT/ Photo taken May 13, 2014. REUTERS/Stephen Lam (UNITED STATES - Tags: SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY TRANSPORT)

Google announced in its Blogger site that a few of the prototype vehicles of its self-driving cars are all set to break the test track. It will hit the familiar roads of Mountain View in California this summer.

“The new prototypes will drive with the same software that our existing fleet of self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs uses. That fleet has logged nearly a million autonomous miles on the roads since we started the project and recently has been self-driving about 10,000 miles a week,” Chris Urmson, Director, Google Self-Driving Car Project said in Google’s Blogger site.

Last year, the search engine giant had proclaimed that its prototype vehicles would not include steering wheel, accelerator pedal and brake pedal. However, the upcoming prototype vehicles will have steering wheels and brakes.

The prototype vehicles are capable to take a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour. With this test launch, Google will learn how the community would perceive and interact with the vehicles.

Google’s autonomous vehicles have driven nearly a million miles on the road. However, there were 11 minor accidents in California since the testing started over six years ago. In August 2011, a Google driverless car was involved in a crash near Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Other than Google, major auto manufacturers like BMW, Mercedes and Apple are working on self-driving car projects. All autonomous car manufacturers are looking forward to securing DMV permits for testing their technological outputs in California.

The software called Google Chauffeur is used for the navigation purpose of the self-driving cars. Velodyne 64-beam laser is mounted in every car that generates a detailed 3D map of its environment. The maps are captured and combined with high resolution maps of the world, which will allow the car to drive itself.

The Huffington Post reported some notable estimation given by a few research institutes. The report says that by 2035, there should be nearly 54 million self-driving cars in use globally. On the other hand, the sales of autonomous vehicles will reach 95.4 million annually, representing 75 percent of all light-duty vehicle sales. By 2032, half of the new vehicles in North America will have robotics capabilities.

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