Story 2014-05-30 3N7 Google's Self Driving Electric Car Prototype

Google's Self Driving Electric Car Prototype

in google on (#3N7)
story imageWhile Google's previous self-driving vehicles have been either a converted Toyota Prius or a Lexus SUV, their new prototype uses a new self-manufactured design that looks like a golf cart.
Unlike previous models, these cars won't have human drivers monitoring them at all times. Google said the cars can detect objects up to 200 yards away in all directions and adjust their speed, turns and braking accordingly.
Highlights include:
  • No steering wheel or pedals
  • Emergency stop button
  • Top speed of 25 MPH (40 KPH)
  • 2 seats
  • Electric drive
Reply 8 comments

What about emergency steering? (Score: 2, Funny)

by on 2014-05-30 12:25 (#1YY)

An emergency stop button is something, but one would think there'd be some steering in case the thing's about to drive you into incoming traffic or some other dangerous situation. I'd rather take public transport than risk my life in this, to be honest.

Re: What about emergency steering? (Score: 3, Insightful)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-05-30 12:33 (#1Z0)

From a statistical viewpoint, I can imagine a time when autonomous vehicles are actually safer to use (for avoiding accidents) than running the roads with a large conglomerate of human drivers with various attributes of skill, fatigue, and sobriety. What is perhaps more of a concern to me is if the vehicles can be hacked and used to create accidents intentionally, for whatever purpose.

Re: What about emergency steering? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-05-30 12:59 (#1Z5)

exactly. or plowing through the boardwalk. will the inevitable electrical or camera fault fail-safe by jamming on the brakes on the highway?

...and all i can think about is that scene from austin powers, the 60-point imagine sitting through that with no steering wheel. no thanks :)

Re: What about emergency steering? (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-05-30 13:03 (#1Z6)

I assume these cars will have several safety mechanisms in place to make sure something like that happens only once in a while...

These kind of cars can be used by people who lack a driver's license, or are intoxicated. Since it is not possible to take control of the car, there is no reason to put any requirements on any of the passengers. Perhaps self driving cars with manual controls will have a locked mode, or something, to also allow this.

Re: What about emergency steering? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-05-30 13:17 (#1Z7)

Public transportation is better in EVERY respect. It's a pity there's a place for these toys. It's one of the failures of contemporary infrastructure (the lack of it).

Re: What about emergency steering? (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-05-30 17:47 (#1ZB)

I envision the two converging in the distant future. Think a massive network of tracks instead of roads. The vehicle only needs to make a decision at junctions, and then has a limited number of paths. You only need to really be worried about what is on the track in front of you, and that is much simpler to do in a safe and redundant manner.

Re: What about emergency steering? (Score: 1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-05-30 19:14 (#1ZD)

So, the world as pilotless Disney monorail? I can dig it.

I hope they use JonnyCab from the original Total Recall in these Googlebots.

Re: What about emergency steering? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-06-02 21:04 (#20B)

I couldn't trust my life in this thing either. Call me a control freak, but I couldn't just sit there with no input or control mechanisms incase anything went wrong. I just find it hard to believe they could program for every possible scenario.

The only way I could see this working is in a controlled area or roadway where all the vehicles were driverless and could communicate with each other to avoid accidents.