Sebastian Thrun, the man behind Google Streetview and work on Stanley, the autonomous vehicle from Stanford that's won DARPA competitions, has teamed up with Google to create a fleet of self-piloting vehicles that have racked up over 140,000 unmanned miles. A handful of the vehicles have traveled 1,000 miles without any human intervention at all, and there's been only one crash – when one of the autonomous vehicles was rear-ended by another car.

Of course, it will still be a long time before you're popping down to the corner Ford dealer to pick up a Fiesta AI Edition. Still, to have seven cars plying California streets and highways making their own decisions puts us that much closer to concluding the first generation of data acquisition. One day the threat of car crashes could be virtually eliminated, if only we could get computers that didn't crash.

[Source: Google, New York Times]