Google Pod-Carsto be Set Loose on Roads

#1
Look out, Silicon Valley!

Google has announced that it is releasing its little two-seater pod-cars out onto local streets near its headquarters in Mountain View California (between SF and SJ.)

The cars will have the same software that has controlled the fleet of Lexus SUVs that have been driving around for some time, logging a million autonomous miles.

(I live in the area but have never seen one.)

The pod-cars will have "safety drivers" aboard ready to take over and will have steering wheels and brakes, unlike the planned production pod-cars which won't have driver controls. The pod-cars will have an initial top-speed of 25 miles per (seems kinda slow, even for city driving). Google says that they want to observe how they interact with other drivers.

Some photos of the strange little things here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany...is-summer/

It looks to me like Google is taking a totally different approach than Mercedes Benz, which is designing extreme luxury (and no doubt hideously expensive) autonomous cars. Teslas (and I'm guessing Apple's) robot cars will be pretty high-end too. The Google pod-car is about the size of one of those two-seater Smart cars and looks like it's designed to be a very minimalist vehicle. But I can imagine them on big-city streets.
#2
(May 15, 2015 08:59 PM)Yazata Wrote: [...] The Google pod-car is about the size of one of those two-seater Smart cars and looks like it's designed to be a very minimalist vehicle. But I can imagine them on big-city streets.

I can imagine them under 18-wheelers, so I'd probably take a bulkier rival. There was a truck driver around here who apparently never even saw the diminutive vehicle he dragged for some miles before the highway patrol stopped him. At least the poor elderly lady probably died instantly in her "crushed can".


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