Last year, a self-driven Google Car hit headlines when it was pulled over by a police officer in Mountain View, California for slow driving. This was actually Google’s self-driving car technology being tested.
This was actually Google’s self-driving car technology being tested.
On Wednesday, Alphabet revealed that it will be commencing tests for its self-driving cars in Washington before this month ends, with Kirkland being the company’s ground of choice. What this means is that the Google Cars will be all over public roads in Kirkland by the time February concludes.
An expansion spree
With the race in the self-driving car industry starting to take shape, Google is clearly aiming to be at the helm of things by the time 2016 comes to an end. Last year, the company moved away from its home and expanded its tests to Texas. The company seems to be quite happy with the data it has collected with respect to different driving environments, road conditions and even patterns of traffic in these cities. As a result, it wants to kick-start similar tests in Washington DC and the project drivers think the extreme weather of Kirkland is the best test ground in the city.
According to Google, the topography of the region will be of huge help as far as testing sensors of the Google Cars when in different angles as well as elevations. In this way, the software powering these cars can easily be refined to perfectly work with such conditions.
On receiving this news, Kirkland Mayor Amy Walen was not short of happiness. “We are very thrilled to have the Google Cars here at Kirkland as they do more tests,” he said. “It’s a great fit.”
Over 1.4 million miles already covered by Google Cars
Google’s self-driving cars have already driven over 1.4 million miles. This period has really been helpful to the company as it has improved its systems based on the results of the tests. Different roads have different rules and during this time, these self-driving cars have managed to adapt to the conditions perfectly. Even if you are on a bicycle and try to signal a turn using your hand, the self-driven Google Car will be able to tell. Amazing huh!
Road accidents have been recorded as one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. To be more specific with this data, over 94% of these accidents are as a result of human error. With the self-driven cars on the roads, there is little chance for such errors, which makes it much safer to ride alongside a robot than do so alongside a fellow human.