Car project director Chris Urmson disclosed in a blog post published on Thursday that Google’s self-driving cars hit the streets this summer. The announcement comes after the Internet search giant communicated that the driverless vehicle has been subject to sufficient tests.
According to the recent blog post, the car will feature a detachable steering wheel as well as an accelerator and brake pedal. Urmson further stated that the on road activity of the vehicles will be constantly supervised by safety drivers. To avoid any undesired incidents, Google will also limit the vehicle’s speed to a maximum capacity of 25 mph.
Self-driving car project has been under the careful surveillance of engineers and developers until it was first conceived in April 2011. Since then, the vehicle has been subject to numerous on and off road tests to determine whether the concept is actually possible or not.
Results have shown that Google’s autonomous car is capable of driving through the city without encountering major problems. Based on the results that the company has made public this week, there have been no major street incidents so far that could determine engineers to label the product as unsafe for the streets.
Google has further stated that the car has registered only six accidents since it was first tested in 2012. Nevertheless, these figures do not worry Google as the accident rate is rather low. Moreover, investigations have revealed that the car was not at fault for the said accidents.
The driverless technology that Google has been preparing for four years will continuously be monitored so experts could constantly improve its features and options.
According to Urmson, developers will be particularly interested in the way the self-driving car copes with street signals, human signals and possible obstacles on the road.
The vehicle did not correctly conform to these signals during the past experiments it has undergone, which is why developers will pay much attention to these details.
The first public roads that the drive will patrol are the streets in Mountain View.
Developers are not only interested in studying the driverless car’s capacity to adapt on streets, but also to evaluate people’s perception on the car. The search giant will collect as much data as possible related to the manner in which people interact with the autonomous vehicle.
“We’re looking forward to learning how the community perceives and interacts with the vehicles,” the project manager further disclosed. He also stated that the company will focus in the future on the new options that people want the driverless car to feature.
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