One of Google’s driverless, self-driving cars has got license from the Department of Motor Vehicles to drive it on public streets. The DMV has approved the car after demonstrations on the Las Vegas Strip and Carson City. In tests, the car is found safe, perhaps safer than a car with a human driver. “It gets honked at more often because it’s being safe,” says Nevada DMV Director Bruce Breslow.
DMV has licensed the Google self-driving car on condition that two people should sit inside it at all times with one person behind the steering and one person in the passenger seat to monitor the computer. Of course, it is meant to avoid unexpected accidents and clashes.
Google self-driving car
The innovative project was first announced in 2010 and Google has successfully made it a secure self-driving car in two years. The technology behind the self-driving vehicle works like auto-pilot to direct a car. The self-driving car, a modified Toyota Prius in Google official video promo, runs with no intervention from a driver. Advanced technologies like laser radar on the roof detect pedestrians and other vehicles on the road. The technologies create a virtual buffer zone around car and prevent it from hitting any object in front or sides.
In its video promo, Google claims that the self-driving car project is safer, efficient and enjoyable. The car has successfully completed more than 200,000 miles of computer-led driving and it is ready for entry into public roads, the Mountain View web giant says. “We organized this test as a technical experiment, but we think it’s also a promising look at what autonomous technology may one day deliver if rigorous technology and safety standards can be met,” Google adds.
The coveted Google driverless car project is led by Google engineer Sebastian Thrun, who is also the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Thrun, also the co-founder of Google Street View, developed Google self-driving car in association with fifteen engineers working for Google, which include the likes of Chris Urmson, Anthony Levandowski and Mike Montemerlo. Anyway, Google has no immediate plan to market the car, which is still under rigorous groundwork.
Nevada’s licensing of the self-driving car is a great advantage for Google. The tech company, which constantly innovates bizarre products like self-driving car and Google Glasses under its research labs, has made a great step ahead in bringing the car into public use. For a while, Google has been trying to get license for its self-driving cars. Thus, the company has so far sought license for three tests cars. According to Breslow, the Google self-driving car will get red plates, which will help public and police easily recognize the cars from the rest. However, as the cars will be available for public, which may happen in three to five years, the plates will be green.
“Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval took the car for a spin in and around the state’s quiet capital city. But Las Vegas Boulevard, where costumed superheroes routinely take the crosswalks and massive billboards angle for the attention of starry-eyed tourists, was perhaps best suited to test the car’s main purpose,” reports Associated Press.
The Google driverless car may have won license for driving in public roads. However, there are many concerns regarding the vehicle. Recently, an attorney for the California Department of Motor Vehicles criticized that the project saying that the “technology is ahead of the law in many areas,” citing state laws that “all presume to have a human being operating the vehicle.” A crash of a test version of Google’s self-driving car near Google headquarters in August 2011 is often cited by criticizers. But Google has stated that the accident took place when the car was driven by a driver. It was not in self-riving mode then, the company says.