Photo Credit: Google/TheVerge
If all the science fiction films released over the years are anything to judge by, the future will be filled with self-driving luxury vehicles. In fact, we’ve already seen a few haute prototypes from luxury carmakers like Mercedes-Benz. Google, who has been toying with the technology over the past few years, is bringing mass consumer luxury vehicles that much closer to reality.
The latest model of Google’s self-driving cars are now racing through the streets of Silicon Valley. This marks the first time Google’s new fleet of vehicles have been allowed on public roadways. The curious, pod-like cars were previously tested on a private track at an Air Force base located near San Francisco. The vehicles will now be driving up to 25 miles per hour in the roads around Google’s office in Mountain View, California. The tech company hopes to learn more about how the vehicles interact with the unpredictable nature of traffic and maned vehicles.
Previously, Google installed its robotic driving tech into Lexus SUVs and Toyota Priuses before developing more specialized prototypes. The new vehicles were developed to operate without a steering wheel or brake pedal, but will be equipped with those features during testing. Humans will continue to ride in the cars and take control in emergency situations, but Google’s vehicles have proven to be incredibly safe over the past few years. Earlier models of the car have only been involved in 13 minor accidents over 1.8 million miles on the road. According to Google, every incident was the fault of another vehicle and not Google’s prototypes.
Drivers who happen across one of Google’s driverless cars can share their experience with the company here.