Drivers of Mountain View, CA, you're set to be joined by something new and rather adorable this summer, as Google has been given the green light to test its self-driving car on public roads.
While the self-driving functions will be doing all the work, Google is quick to stress that safety drivers will always be at the helm, just in case things go very wrong. As a crashed self-driving car is terrible for public relations, Google's vehicles will also be limited to just 25 miles per hour as an extra safety precaution. So don't count on them clogging up the 101.
"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," the company said in a blog posting. "[The] fleet has logged nearly a million autonomous miles on the roads since we started the project, and recently has been self-driving about 10,000 miles a week. So the new prototypes already have lots of experience to draw on – in fact, it's the equivalent of about 75 years of typical American adult driving experience."
Provided this initial program is successful, look for Google to push to expand it in the coming years, raising speeds and expanding where the vehicles operate.
News Source: Google Blog