Monday, October 11, 2010

Google tests self-driving cars

GOOGLE engineers have developed and tested technology that allows cars to drive themselves, a posting on the company's official blog revealed. 

The automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps to navigate the road ahead, software engineer Sebastian Thrun said.

So far, he said, the self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles (225,000 km) around California. “We think this is a first in robotics research,” the engineer added.

For safety reasons, Thrun said, the cars are never unmanned. They have a trained driver behind the wheel who can always take over while a trained software operator in the passenger seat monitors the software.

The project was still “very much in the experimental stage,” he added.

Read more at Google's blog.

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