Californians may be familiar with Google’s new project- the Toyota Prius that drives on its own! Using artificial intelligence software, the car senses its surroundings, ‘makes decisions’ and reacts the way a human driver would.
7 Test Drives
So far, Google has launched seven test drives. Each test includes a real person behind the wheel as well as one passenger. The testers are there to monitor the navigation system, and to take control if something goes wrong. Until now, seven test cars have driven 1,000 miles with no human control, and more than 140,000 miles with only minor human intervention. The cars even managed to drive down Lombard Street in San Francisco- one one of the steepest, windiest hills in the area. According to engineers, the only accident happened when a car was hit in the rear while waiting at a traffic light.
Cars That Save Lives
Though self-driving cars have a long way to go before mass production, engineers and technologists are encouraged by the positive assessments of these test drives. They claim that the technology will have a huge impact on society, and believe that robot drivers will save lives.
The computers can react faster than humans, are 100% aware of their surroundings with 360-degree perception, and are incapable of becoming tired, distracted or intoxicated.