Checking In With Google’s Self-Driving Car: Mastering The City Streets
“A mile of city driving is much more complex than a mile of freeway driving, with hundreds of different objects moving according to different rules of the road in a small area,” wrote Chris Urmson, the project’s director.
He stated that the team has improved their software to be able to detect all manner and a great number of objects at the same time, such as pedestrians, buses, road signs, cyclists, and more. “A self-driving vehicle can pay attention to all of these things in a way that a human physically can’t—and it never gets tired or distracted,” he noted.
He says that their software is getting more sophisticated all the time, and they’re driven more than 700,000 autonomous miles, but he admitted that there’s a long way to go before this technology is ready for primetime. Issues include the need to “teach” the car to more streets in its hometown of Mountain View before trying any other locales.
In sum, progress is being made, but it doesn’t sound like we’ll be passengers in a Google robot car any time soon.