For three years I’ve been writing at least once a week about self-driving cars and I’ve recently noticed a shift in popular opinion. The wide-eyed optimism of seeing Google’s cute-as-a-button robot bopping unassisted around a parking lot has been replaced by some ambiguous, malicious, unknowable entity, a…
Most wouldn’t argue that getting paid to drive cars is a dream job, but Google is putting a new spin on that concept in its car division. The company put out a job listing looking to hire people to sit behind the wheel of its self-driving vehicles and, well, not drive—unless absolutely necessary.
The news that Google’s next self-driving car will be a modified Chrysler Pacifica hybrid has quickly elevated “minivan” from the punchlines of dad jokes to a totally serious solution for our transportation troubles. It’s not surprising at all. Zipping a bunch of people and their stuff around a city safely is exactly…
Among the many different hazards Google’s cars have to handle on the road is one particularly annoying one: pedestrians acting like jerks when they see Google’s cute little machines in the wild.
“We don’t like our car bumping into things,” said Chris Urmson, head of Google’s self-driving project, addressing the February 14 incident where Google’s car struck a bus. “This was a tough day for us.”
Well, it finally happened. One of Google’s autonomous vehicles might have caused a minor fender-bender. (Luckily, it appears nobody was hurt.) And guess what—it’s probably going to happen again. And that’s fine.
Self-driving cars bring many promises like fewer deaths, smarter navigation, and no more ugly parking lots. But a new study highlights a critical disclaimer: Unless these vehicles are shared, we’ll probably see a dramatic increase of the number of cars on our streets.
The head of Google’s self-driving car division made headlines recently for asking federal regulators to allow a vehicle without human-facing features like a steering wheel. Now he’s made a very good case for why no autonomous vehicle on the road should have these things at all.
According to IEEE Spectrum, documents filed to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission indicate that new efforts toward Google’s prototype autonomous cars include the testing of several wireless charging systems for the vehicles in California. The systems come from two companies that specialize in creating charging…
Google’s self-driving cars have racked up about 1.4 million self-driven miles on actual roads in the last six years, but as impressive as that sounds, it’s a pittance compared to what the simulators have been doing behind the scenes.
If you thought of Google’s adorable panda-like driverless car as a glorified science experiment until now, get ready to change your mind. According to reports within the company, Google is set to make its driverless car program a standalone “Alphabet” business in 2016—the biggest sign yet that driverless cars are…
Google’s self-driving car might be intentionally designed to look cute and innocent, but as we all know, puppy-dog eyes are not enough to escape the police.
Google recently invited artists to design artwork themed around their community and neighbors to be featured on the company’s prototype self-driving cars. Kind of like the daily Google Doodle.
In a way, the pace of the self-driving car revolution will really be determined by a single technology: How quickly 3D laser scanners will improve until they’re as good as the old-fashioned 3D scanners in our human eyes.
Good human drivers know to cover the brake pedal when they’re rolling through a neighbourhood football game, and it sounds like Google’s computerized drivers are being equally cautious.
With autonomous vehicle operators now required to report their crashes, we finally have some data to compare robot drivers to human drivers when it comes to road safety. Here’s one good argument for a robot-driving future: Human drivers are more likely to get in crashes that hurt or kill other humans.