Google’s fully self-driving vehicle will be leaving the company’s testing facilities and hitting the open road.
Some of Google’s latest prototype self-driving vehicles are to be tested on the roads of Mountain View, California, with safety drivers aboard to ensure everything goes smoothly.
“We’ve been running the vehicles through rigorous testing at our test facilities, and ensuring our software and sensors work as they’re supposed to on this new vehicle,” Google Self-Driving Car Project Director Chris Urmson said in an official Google blog post.
“The new prototypes will drive with the same software that our existing fleet of self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs uses.”
Google’s Lexus SUVs have thus far clocked in around 10,000 miles a week, according to the company, which they say equates to “about 75 years of typical American adult driving experience.”
The multinational technology company says they aim to reduce the 94 per cent of U.S. car accidents that are caused by human error, while simultaneously reducing time in traffic and providing opportunities for those unable to drive a car.
The prototype caps at 25mph (40kmh), so we won’t be seeing the Google self-driving car flying past on the road quite yet. The open road testing will see safety drivers situated inside with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal in place in case of emergency.
“We’re looking forward to learning how the community perceives and interacts with the vehicles, and to uncovering challenges that are unique to a fully self-driving vehicle—e.g., where it should stop if it can’t stop at its exact destination due to construction or congestion,” Mr Urmson said.