Science & technology
Google self-driving car coming around the cornerPublish Date: May 14, 2014
Google self-driving car coming around the corner
  • mail
  • img
A Google self-driving car is seen in Mountain View, California, on May 13, 2014. A white Lexus cruised along a road near the Google campus. AFP/PHOTO
newvision

A white Lexus cruised along a road near the Google campus, braking for pedestrians and scooting over in its lane to give bicyclists ample space.

The car eased into a turn lane, waited for a green light and a break in traffic, then continued on its way in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View.

It even avoided stopping on train tracks.

But there was nobody holding the wheel. What looked like the work of a conscientious driver was a Google car making all the moves -- with an AFP reporter in the back seat.

Google used machine learning to teach cars how people drive and, from there, to anticipate what motorists in surrounding traffic are likely to do.

"Computers have really good reaction times. They don't get distracted, drowsy, fall asleep, and they don't drive drunk," Google self-driving car software team lead Dmitri Dolgov told reporters getting an intimate look at prototypes at the Computer History Museum.

"They don't need to stop messing with the radio to see what is happening, or even take time to move a foot from the gas pedal to the brake."

The bustling street crowd paid little heed to the self-driving car, which sported a whirling gadget on top about the size and shape of a large coffee can.

The roof-top device used radar and lasers to track everything around it.

A camera peeking out from the Lexus front grill watched what was ahead.

Data is processed by onboard computers programmed to simulate what a careful driver would do, but at super-human speeds. And, naturally, the Google autonomous car was connected to the Internet.

A "Googler" from the technology titan's test driving team had a laptop computer that showed what the car "saw" -- everything from cyclists and traffic signals to orange cones and painted lines in the street.

Another Googler was in the driver's seat, ready to take over in the unlikely chance a human was needed to make a driving decision.

A red button could be hit to grab control from the computer. A tap of the brake would do the same.


 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Science of brain signals opens new era for advertising
Companies in the near future will be able to test public reaction to advertisements, music and films before they are released by monitoring the brain signals of a select group as they watch a trial....
Samsung delays Tizen smartphone sales launch
Samsung Electronics said Monday it would postpone the roll-out of its new smartphone based on Tizen, a home-grown operating system aimed at breaking away from Google''s Android system....
Chinese regulators visit Microsoft offices: Dow Jones
Officials from China''s corporate regulator paid visits Monday to software giant Microsoft''s offices in four cities in the country, Dow Jones Newswires reported, citing people familiar with the matter....
Samsung delays Tizen smartphone sales launch
Samsung Electronics has said it would postpone the roll-out of its new smartphone based on Tizen, a home-grown operating system aimed at breaking away from Google's Android system....
Wikipedia blocks
WIKIPEDIA has blocked editing rights from some computers at the US House of Representatives in response to "disruptive" revisions of the online encyclopedia...
Baidu working on semi-autonomous car
THE company is often colloquially referred to as the “Google of China,” and it appears that Baidu is going down the same road as its Mountain View counterpart...
Should voters be given poer to recall their MPs?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter