News / USA

Google Unveils Prototype Self-Driving Car

Google Unveils Concept Self-Driving Cari
X
George Putic
May 30, 2014 10:50 PM
U.S. technology giant Google made a step forward in its push for self-driving cars by unveiling a prototype without any manual controls. Google says someday its vehicles will be better drivers than many humans who drive today’s cars. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Google Unveils Concept Self-Driving Car
George Putic
U.S. technology giant Google made a step forward in its push for self-driving cars by unveiling a prototype without any manual controls.

Google said someday its vehicles will be better drivers than many humans who drive today’s cars.

The company's self-driving cars are not a rare sight in western states like California and Nevada, whose legislators are more open to the idea of vehicles with only passive human control.

So far, Google has been converting standard, mass-produced cars, with regular steering wheels and pedals, where a person in the driver’s seat could take over at any time.

Hands free

The subcompact two-seater, presented this week, is a totally new concept, without a possibility for the passengers to control direction, speed or braking.

After entering the destination in the on-board computer, humans can only sit and observe the scenery, or watch the car’s progress on the electronic display. The top speed is limited to 40 kilometers per hour.

“They are a chance for us to explore what it really means to have a self-driving vehicle," said the company’s director for self-driving cars, Chris Urmson. "But in a smaller amount of time we've been working on it now, we have functional prototypes, and it's exciting.”

Urmson said Google wants to develop the technology up to the point where people would be able to call up a car and have it take them where they want to go. The car would then go to the next caller.

Semi-autonomous-drive vehicles

It is very likely that by 2020, semi-autonomous-drive vehicles will be common, according to Zoran Filipi, professor of Automotive Engineering at Clemson University.

“We’ll be able to enjoy other activities while in the car, and, very importantly, we’ll be absolutely safe in traffic,” he said.

Filipi said people will be relieved of some burden of driving on the freeway, but will be able to resume control as they approach their destination.

Google plans to build about a hundred of these prototypes, some with manual controls, and test them on California roads. If all goes well, we could be speeding down the road to the future in driverless cars.

You May Like

Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving

Feasts centering on turkeys with an array of traditional sides and desserts are part of the holiday's traditions, which falls on the fourth Thursday in November More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Cao from: Jiang su china
June 02, 2014 12:48 AM
Google,the brilliant company with lots of brilliant products.
Why so many great inventions comes out from Amarican?


by: deepu from: Nigeria
June 01, 2014 7:06 AM
great! something new.


by: joey swift from: alabama
May 31, 2014 10:32 AM
It is not a question of if but when this type technology will become mainstream. I welcome these type press releases because it allows people to become familiar and discuss them. Self driving cars will be part of a new future of automation. I can see them being used in tandem with DCshippers.com to deliver packages while the owner is at home or at work. DCshippers is a crowd sourced parcel delivery service that uses daily commuters to deliver packages. Imagine how easy it would be to post your selfdriving cars downtime and have it make you money while you are not using it. I cant wait.
Sincerely
Joey
Dcshippers.com


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
May 31, 2014 12:00 AM
Is it the only purpose for drivers to move? Someone may enjoy driving and handling a car. These driverless cars would be useful for transporting goods as well as for the drivers of handicapped and elderies.


by: Joji from: Queens
May 30, 2014 9:04 PM
They contest the Google Car will be better in some ways, and I think they may well be right. Humans lack the ability to concentrate for any real length of time, and repetitive tasks ease us into mindlessness. Computers can hold speed and distance with far more accuracy than a human, never gets bored or angry or drunk and can recognize patterns. The patterns are actually there in the highway code.

My one question is this – Would the passengers be liable for any accidents? Would Google be liable? It seems like a mess. I have a good driving record and enjoy pretty cheap insurance rates ($26/month from Insurance Panda.. woohoo!). I also enjoy taking my car out for a spin and enjoying the ‘freedom’ of being able to drive anywhere. Will the driverless car allow all this? If not, I’ll have to pass.

Who knows? Maybe insurance as we know it will go away, replaced by any number of models that would more accurately represent the new risk distribution.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Paradei
X
Anush Avetisyan
November 26, 2014 10:57 PM
Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid