Google’s koala-faced self-driving car is about to venture onto public streets in the US to undergo testing.
Just this week the tech giant revealed that its self-driven cars have been involved in 11 collisions during a 2.7 million kilometre test program.
But all of those incidents were attributed to driver error from other motorists and not Google’s software. All incidents were also described as ‘minor’.
But with an arguably faultless record during testing, the company is ready to attempt the program’s next challenge by stepping up to its own autonomous car.
The tiny two-seater has already navigated itself around the roads surrounding Google HQ in the US, but the challenge of negotiating public roads awaits it.
The Google car has no steering wheel and no pedals, but these ‘removable’ items will be fitted for the car’s first adventure on public roads as a precaution in case the ‘driver’ needs to take over.
Also, the car’s speed will be limited to 40km/h.
Google, however, is confident that its millions of kilometres of testing has refined the software to the point where it should perform as faultlessly as the Lexus SUVs have.
The company says it has clocked up around “75 years of typical American adult driving experience” during testing to date.
Besides refining the autonomous software, Google also plans to test public reaction to its own self-driving car to see what potential buyers of the future might expect in such a package.
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