After around 8 years of research and development on self-driving cars, Google is yet to release one of its most futuristic products to the masses. Undoubtedly, there has already been significant demand for these in various markets, but the everyday joes shouldn't get their hopes up just yet.
In a South by Southwest Austin talk, Chris Urmson, the head of the Google Self-Driving Car project said that by the time these driverless cars go out for mass adoption, they would have to be safer and more capable than human drivers.
So far, the test drives of the self-driving cars, which collectively add up to 1.4 million autonomous miles total, has had an impressive run. During many of these trips, the Google Self-Driving Car has showcased its ability to adapt to different situations, including a lady in an electric scooter who was going after a duck in the middle of the road.
According to Urmson, the Google Self-Driving Car is designed to be extremely cautious in these kinds of situations, which could potentially cause injury to people or damage to vehicles. The complex artificial intelligence of the self-driving unit combined with the vast array of data that is gathered by the car through its different sensors enables it to make important decisions.
Without a doubt, the premise of having a car that can drive itself and run "better than human drivers" is appealing. Since 1.2 million are killed in accidents related to vehicles around the world, and 38,000 of these come from the United States alone, there is an undeniable need for safety.
Even though the Google self-driving car is generally safe, unfortunately, it is definitely not yet perfect at this point in time. In Feb. 14, a self-driving test Lexus was linked to an accident where it hit California bus, marking the first time a Google driverless car caused an accident while driving itself.
Despite this, Urmson reassures the public that they are working hard to get the driverless car out, and that they would let the people know about where they are at. Obviously, Google's driverless car is still generally much safer drivers than us humans.
Watch the moment when Google self-driving car hits a bus in Mountain View, California:
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