Driving is great when you’re 16. But then you get introduced to traffic, bad drivers, road rage and all sorts of everyday hazards, and suddenly driving isn’t so fun anymore. Personally, I abhor the privilege (most of the time), especially because of Southern California’s notorious traffic. Boohoo, right?
That’s why Google’s self-driving cars are particularly interesting to me, and something I’d imagine more people to be interested in than Google Glass. Through “advanced computer science,” Google’s project is a step towards potentially making the lives of millions of people around the world that much easier. And less stressful.
Although the dream is still be years away, Google announced on Tuesday it’s making great progress by hitting the 300,000 mile mark during testing. All that, and not a single accident under computer control. So, so impressive, considering how awfully unreliable the human element can be behind the wheel.
Before the technology is made more widely available, Google said it still has to conduct testing in more unpredictable conditions, such as “snow-covered roadways, interpret temporary construction signals and handle other tricky situations.” In addition, the Google team will soon start allowing single occupants to take the cars to work, rather than commuting in pairs.
While the team continues development, Google will test algorithms for a new type of vehicle, the Lexus RX450h, to help refine the system in different environments and terrain. Does that mean we can expect to see self-driving cars driving offroad?