Google’s automated cars might be already more attentive than human drivers — and they’re still in beta.
The idea that cars one day might drive themselves make many people — especially regulators — uneasy. While a computer has a much faster reaction time than a human, and is able to simultaneously process information from a variety of sensors as well as cameras, the very idea that a human would not be in control of the vehicle is simply unacceptable to many. Perhaps illogical, yes, but so far incompatible with decision makers and the public at large.
“As it turns out, what looks chaotic and random on a city street to the human eye is actually fairly predictable to a computer,” Chris Urmson, head of the self-driving car project, said in a blog post. “We still have lots of problems to solve, including teaching the car to drive more streets in Mountain View before we tackle another town, but thousands of situations on city streets that would have stumped us two years ago can now be navigated autonomously.”
In order to try and win over hearts and minds, Google has released a video showing how a self-driving car sees the world and navigates through everyday hazards on the road. The car’s sensors can detect pedestrians, pylons, construction sites and other safety hazards in real time.
Check out the video here: