Driverless or Self-Driving Cars by Google


The next generation of transportation is all about fuel efficiency, alternative power source and hybrid technology. Though check this out, a driverless car is being introduced for general public.

Who’s initiating the project? Google! The Google Self-Driving Car involves developing technology for autonomous cars. Google Chauffeur is the software powering Google's cars. "Self-driving car" is what the lettering on the side of each car indicates. The project is currently being led by the former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View, Google engineer Sebastian Thrun. Thrun's team at Stanford created the robotic vehicle Stanley which won the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge and its US$2 million prize from the United States Department of Defense. The team developing the system consisted of 15 engineers working for Google, including Chris Urmson, Mike Montemerlo, and Anthony Levandowski who had worked on the DARPA Grand and Urban Challenges.

Last June 29, 2011, the U.S. state of Nevada passed a law permitting the operation of autonomous cars in Nevada. Google had been lobbying for robotic car laws. The Nevada law went into effect on March 1, 2012, and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles issued the first license for an autonomous car in May 2012. The license was issued to a Toyota Prius modified with Google's experimental driverless technology. Last April 2012, Florida became the second state to allow the testing of autonomous cars on public roads. California became the third state to legalize the use of self-driven cars for testing purposes as of September 2012 when Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill into law at Google HQ in Mountain View. Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation allowing the testing of automated or self-driving vehicles on Michigan’s roads in December 2013, but this legislation requires a human in the driver seat at all times while the vehicle is in use.

Robotic cars were allowed in traffic at Europe, Germany, Netherlands and Spain. Finland is also planning on passing a law before 2015.

Google presented a new prototype of their driverless car that doesn't have a steering wheel or pedals by May 28, 2014.



June, 2014 was the date that a bipartisan group of 18 House lawmakers began taking rides around Washington in a driverless car to test out the emerging technology.

The rides, which were arranged by the House Transportation Committee, took lawmakers on a path that included streets and a highway near the Capitol.

Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), who conducted a driverless car test ride of his own last year, said it was important to let fellow lawmakers experience the technology for themselves.

“Autonomous vehicles and other emerging technologies have significant potential to increase transportation safety and efficiency,” Shuster said in a statement. “The future of transportation is coming quickly, and it’s important to provide policymakers with opportunities to gain a better understanding of these kinds of innovations."


“As the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee continues to develop a long-term surface transportation bill, we are working to help promote innovation,” Shuster said.

“We have to encourage our state partners to utilize new technologies, and along with the states, we must begin planning for the benefits and challenges that new technologies will bring to our transportation system,” he continued.

The car is owned by Carnegie Mellon University, which is located in Shuster's home state.

One of these days, you’ll feel that cars around the corners without any driver will just be a normal thing.

Cheerio!

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