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Google Engineering Self-Driving Vehicle Technology

October 12, 2010 6:05 AM | News

By Brian Schultz

The masterminds at Google are once again experimenting with vehicle technology and have developed a fleet of cars that drive themselves in traffic.


The vehicles have been tested on the busy streets of California for the last several months and use sensors to determine other cars in its vicinity. If another motorist should veer into the path of a Google vehicle, the on-board computer mimics a human’s response to avoid a potential crash.

In the months during the tests, only one accident occurred, but was caused by human error when another vehicle rear ended a Google car at a stop light.

Each car is manned during the tests for obvious reasons and the computer can be overridden by a human at any time. The driver oversees the driving aspect, while an engineer in the passenger’s seat monitors the computer’s reaction and software operation.

Analysts say this technology is at least eight years away from the market and even when it’s ready, will not likely debut until traffic laws are rewritten to allow for such a thing.

— With files from the Google Blog