Google announced today that it has developed cars that drive themselves automatically in traffic and it has successfully road-tested them.
The cars drove all over California, including heavily trafficked Hollywood Boulevard and San Francisco’s Lombard Street, known for its tight zig-zag turns, according to the Google blog.
As google “Our automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps (which we collect using manually driven vehicles) to navigate the road ahead. This is all made possible by Google’s data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by our cars when mapping their terrain.”
The high tech autos are specially designed Toyota Priuses. They look like regular cars, except for a cylinder-shaped sensor, or the vehicle’s “eye,” attached to the roof, according to the Daily Mail.
To develop this technology the gathered some of the very best engineers from the DARPA Challenges, a series of autonomous vehicle races organized by the U.S. Government.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million lives are lost every year in road traffic accidents and google believe that their technology has the potential to cut that number, perhaps by as much as half.
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