Google's autonomous car technology is constantly improving. After thousands of miles of testing, the company claimed that the driverless vehicle was safer than conventional, piloted cars. However, it previously only really worked on highways. Now, the the search engine giant is improving the tech even further to be able to drive on busy city streets.

The latest evolution of the system comes after driving its autonomous car around Mountain View, CA. The software can now detect hundreds of moving objects simultaneously and actually react to them. Google claims that the patterns are actually fairly predictable for the programming. As the car met various situations, the engineers built models of how to react.

Unfortunately, Google's autonomous software is only trained for Mountain View at the moment, and it wants to test the system on more streets there before trying the system in other towns. Still, the company believes that building a fully autonomous car is an achievable goal. Scroll down to see the latest step in this cutting-edge research.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 23 Comments
      BigJ
      • 7 Months Ago
      I realize there will be a "green" aspect to more efficient traffic flows, but have we fully considered the unintended consequences? Think about how much more driving could occur. I enjoy driving, but I don't like to drive all the time. Half the places I don't go is due to not wanting to drive/being worn out. It's not the dollar cost, it's the opportunity cost. Imagine how much more driving will occur when you barely have to be engaged in the process and can multitask. 15 hour all-nighter to beach, why not! Dinner in the city? Sure, we can watch a movie on the way in.
        Joeviocoe
        • 7 Months Ago
        @BigJ
        Actually... since parking is rapidly becoming a problem... if auto cars become like a dispassionate appliance.... then people will 'ride share' cars. Because they can park themselves far away, where their is ample parking... or even better, drive around and take people to where they want to go. Basically, this consequence you mentioned has been considered at length. And although driven miles of owned cars may increase slightly... the car ownership should decline too. Think about how many households with two or more cars... ONE autocar could simply take both parents to work and kids to school... then go back home to plug in.
          Joeviocoe
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          As I said... miles driven "per car" will likely increase. But Total miles driven should not be increased, since number of cars would decrease, since each car could do more. Rising fuel costs will inevitably address how many total miles. After all, regardless of who is driving, the fuel costs the same. Electrification is a big topic on ABG... by the time autocars are widely accepted and in use... the reduction of emissions would more than offset the slight increase in miles.
          e_geo71
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          And with all due respect, you ignored what I said. I showed why total miles, not "per car", can very easily increase. Total miles in general, and not "per car" is what BigJ was also talking about by all sorts of extra driving trips that could be done which otherwise would not have been undertaken because of fatigue/time constraints. Again, BigJ's concerns are not easily dismissed, and it seems to me that you have no addressed them yet. Electrification is also irrelevent to this discussion, because if everyone's human-driven cars eventually get replaced by electric human-driven cars, then the whole environmental concern is moot anyway, which is why I said "all else being equal with fuel technology". If you can address the specific examples given above, with the one car doing more miles than the two cars combined due to inefficient automated driving driving routes (which are still cheaper to the consumer because the extra $30k for a second car would be way more than the wasted fuel burned on the single inefficient route), and the extra driving (long road trips, etc.), then great, please do.
          e_geo71
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Yeah, but what BigJ is saying is that strictly speaking, from an environmental point of view, it's the number of miles driven that matters, not the number of cars owned. If more miles are driven, all else being equal with fuel technology, more pollution. In fact, having one car drive both parents to work means more miles than having two vehicles in many situations. Think of a situation in which the parents work in two opposite directions. Instead of Car 1 driving 10 miles west, then 10 miles east at the end of the day, and Car 2 driving 10 miles east and then 10 miles west, you have AutoCar going 10 miles west, then 20 miles east, then 10 miles west to return home to charge, and then the same again at the end of the day. The family also has absolutely no motivation now to buy a second car to lower the overall expenses, because the cost of a second car is probably significant less than the cost of the extra fuel burned because of this far less efficient driving route. Add on all the extra trips that you normally wouldn't make because of being tired, as BigJ said, or the suddenly doable 15 hour road trips that you could do while asleep in the car, and you've got a ton of extra miles being driven, and a ton of extra fuel being burned. BigJ's concern is simply not that easy to dismiss... It could be very real, and very problematic.
      FrosenCarrotz
      • 7 Months Ago
      I'm curious as to how they plan on tackling the issue of missing lines on the road. Where I live, there are a ton of streets missing lines separating lanes due to lack of maintenance.
        Joeviocoe
        • 7 Months Ago
        @FrosenCarrotz
        Similarly to how humans do it... we guess based on distance from curb to curb, other vehicles, any possible tracks through snow or sleet. During heavy rain, the lines become obscured for human drivers... but a car like this, can see in multiple spectra, and would likely be able to detect faded or obscured lines Better than humans.
      goodoldgorr
      • 7 Months Ago
      I think that it will be more safe to let the cars be driven by themself electronically than to rely on human factor, also if the cars know the roads before getting started then they can choose the best roads without construction blocking. Im eager to have self driving car before my next car purchase but i hope it gonna be too costly.
      dea5787
      • 7 Months Ago
      Was driving through Mountain View a few weeks ago when I saw their silver RX in action. It's nothing short of amazing how far technology has already come.
      NY EVO X MR GUY
      • 7 Months Ago
      Type your comment hereI wonder if this couldve been created years ago? It would seem that this technology has been around for years. But, none the less, it is good to see innovation in America.
      JoeP
      • 7 Months Ago
      The real issue here is transporting goods. Think of all those truck drivers, delivery people, bus drivers, taxi drivers, pizza delivery people, etc. that will be out of work. This will get very interesting.
        Larry Litmanen
        • 7 Months Ago
        @JoeP
        Yes but you are creating new jobs, think about it an average 10-15 minute taxi ride in NYC cost around $15. Now if you remove the driver it costs probably $5. Now it will be cheaper for people who do not have cars to commute (say shopping) and create more retail jobs, to support those you need accountants, IT, office staff and all. This will make economy more efficient. Did invention of heavy equipment replace thousands of shovels? Yes, but we are better off for that.
          Lachmund
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Larry Litmanen
          So you really think taxis will get less expensive?! It seems you just forgot how capitalism works.
        juststudent
        • 7 Months Ago
        @JoeP
        Jobs are rise and fall. Once upon a time there's a job as human alarm clock, armor carrier, or worse - butt wiper, now they're extinct. Life still goes on. It's not like it will change overnight though.
      James John
      • 7 Months Ago
      That's great, but no thanks.
      fairfireman21
      • 7 Months Ago
      sorry tosay this but drivingis ment to have some interaction. Computers driving is like taking a bus or a train. I want to be in control not depending on a comp to do it for me. How LAZY can mankind get?
        jmallx
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fairfireman21
        If you don't want to own one then that is your choice. If I choose to own one that is my choice. For me it's not about laziness, but the ability to relax on the way home in bumper to bumper traffic.
        jmallx
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fairfireman21
        If you don't like it then don't buy it. For me its about safety. When working through college I worked a graveyard shift for 40+ hours, worked part time on the weekends and carried 9 or more credits per semester. Sometimes I had to have a mountain dew to get home. I would prefer the car take me home safely than risk falling asleep at the wheel (which happened but luckily no one was injured).
        Joeviocoe
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fairfireman21
        --"How LAZY can mankind get?" About as lazy as we were 100 years ago... before there were any cars. No human was "meant" to sit in a car and travel by moving a single ankle and some shoulders/elbows.
        HollywoodF1
        • 7 Months Ago
        @fairfireman21
        How lazy can mankind get? Judging by your apathethetic application of the English language-- pretty lazy. Do you not see the irony of your judgement of the laziness of others when you write with such laziness?
      charles
      • 7 Months Ago
      The Google car is better than most of the illegal drivers I see in my area, and it has insurance too.
      Vien Huynh
      • 7 Months Ago
      Wow, the amount of data the computer collect must be huge O,O
    • Load More Comments