Google self-driving cars take to the road in next phase of tests


Can you imagine self-driving cars in Thailand? What with people driving the wrong way down roads and the amount of people on the road that don’t even have a license?

But if you live in Austin, Texas, you may have recently spotted one of Google’s self-driving cars on the road. The company has just confirmed that it’s chosen the US city for the next phase of testing. Google said in a Google+ post that the software had to be tested in a variety of different driving environments.

Google self-driving car enters next trial phase

We’ve chosen Austin, Texas, as a new testing location for our project, and one of our Lexus SUVs is there now, with safety drivers aboard, driving a few square miles north and northeast of downtown Austin. It’s important for us to get experience testing our software in different driving environments, traffic patterns and road conditions—so we’re ready to take on Austin’s pedicabs, pickup trucks, and everything in between.

Google has previously demonstrated the car to the major or Austin, the chief of police and other officials in 2013. It seems they were suitably impressed as Google has apparently cleared the testing with the city’s governor, the Department of Transportation, police and other authorities.

However, it recently came to light that Google’s cars have been in 13 accidents since they began testing in California, but the cars were not actually at fault in any of them. The cars have also avoided collisions where a human driver in another car has made a mistake. Good training for Thailand, then…

In Mountain View, Google has also started testing prototypes of a purpose-built self-driving. The test versions also have manual controls for emergency use, but the final model will apparently have no controls.

What do you make of the future of self-driving cars? Would you be happy to see them on the roads, or is the whole thing inadvisable? Let us know in the comments below…



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