After months of being driven on test tracks, Google is ready to test its Google robot cars on public roads, the company stated in an official announcement. Google reportedly began testing autonomous Lexus SVUs first as a trial. They now plan to take the tiny robot cars to California roads by this summer.
The Google robot cars are completely self-driven but have features for human take-over if it is ever necessary. The cars are apparently so smart that the creators of the cars have learned from them. Google Systems Engineer Jamie Waydo recently made a statement to the fact.
“Every moment has been building towards putting these cars on the roads where we can start learning even more from them.”
While Google feels that its robot car prototypes are ready for road testing, there has been much concern about the new trials based on the results of the Google’s SUV tests. According to the Associated Press, there were 11 accidents in the first round of testing with large road-friendly vehicles. Therefore, doing the same with compact vehicles may result in a higher number of accidents.
The true controversy after the first round of Google self-driving tests, which included one million miles of self-driving, was the inability for the smart robot cars to give the cause of the accident. Even more controversial, the Google robot cars have failed to prevent accidents based on certain robotic detection capabilities. Google’s Chris Ursom offered an explanation for this defect, which was just not good enough for some.
“Even when our software and sensors can detect a sticky situation and take action earlier and faster than an alert human driver, sometimes we won’t be able to overcome the realities of speed and distance. Sometimes we’ll get hit just waiting for a light to change.”
To keep the controversy to a minimum in Google’s next phase of testing, the company will reportedly be launching a website strictly dedicated to community response. In addition to asking for feedback from the residents of Mountain View, California, and passersby on the robot cars, the website with also provide progress reports. These reports will give honest details of any accidents or trends.
The Google robot car prototypes will travel at the residential speed of fo 25 mph. Google stated that it would later like to do a pilot program to discover specific things that people would like to do with a Google robot car.
See the Google robot car in action.
[Image and video via Google blog]