Google, the people behind the search engine, the browser, the operating system and the mapping are branching out again, this time into automated technology to drive a car without human intervention.
“Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard,”
wrote distinguished software engineer Sebastian Thrun in Google’s official blog.
“They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. This is a first in robotics research.”
The sytems uses video cameras, radar and a laser range finder to fine-position the car in its physical environment based on detailed maps.
The drive behind the technology is the 1.2m road deaths that happen each year, a figure Google claims could be cut in half by their technology.