Last month, Google focused on teaching its self-driving cars to honk appropriately. Now, it’s taking safety into its own hands and learning how to deal with all those cyclists on the road.
According to Google’s latest self-driving car report, the autonomous cars can now detect a cyclist’s hand signals, and use machine learning to remember signals from previous rides. Its sensors work 360 degrees, including in the dark and have been programmed to distinguish between tandem bikes, bikes with big wheels, unicycles, and other types of bikes. (But can it recognize this seven-person tricycle? This remains to be seen.)
Most importantly, according to the report, “our cars won’t squeeze by when cyclists take the center of the lane, even if there’s technically enough space.” That’s better than can be said for some existing drivers out on the road.