Changing lanes is simple for human drivers. Not so for autonomous cars. Instead of gray matter and muscle memory, self-driving vehicles make decisions using programming, artificial intelligence, and onboard perception systems such as lasers, cameras, and radar.
A common pitch for self-driving cars is safety benefits—a common figure is that they could save 300,000 lives per decade if implemented in the United States.
If puttering around in the daily grind of traffic fills your annoyance bucket, take heart: self-driving cars will be in major city centers in 5 years, and they will be coming in hot. In fact, they’ll likely be commonplace everywhere within just 10 years. These nifty new vehicles have the potential to shake up your life in areas extending well off the road. Here’s why:
Just few weeks after Google got us all excited about its impending fleet of autonomous Chrysler minivans, the company’s Self-Driving Car project announced that it’s packing up at least part of its operation and moving it to Detroit. Ford, hide your engineers!
The emergence of new automotive technologies and practices like ride-sharing, on-demand services, and the introduction of autonomous capabilities seems like it would have a diminishing effect on future automotive sales—but studies suggest we may actually see the opposite.
This past spring, two engineers huddled behind computer monitors as they fine-tuned a robotic ape. The 443-pound simian-inspired machine, calledChimp, would soon be competing in the Pentagon-funded DARPA Robotics Challenge. The competition to build disaster-response robots, which had started three years before, was nearing its final showdown. And Carnegie Mellon University’s Chimp was considered a front-runner for the top prize of $2 million.
Google Inc. said it named auto industry veteran John Krafcik as chief executive of its self-driving car project from late September.
Continue reading Google’s Self-Driving Car Project Just Stepped Up Its Game