Google’s self-driving cars are hitting public roads this summer


Google is taking a major step forward with its self-driving car program this month by conducting its first-ever tests on public roads. The autonomous vehicles will drive around Mountain View, so long as they travel no faster than 25 MPH and have a safety drive on board at all time who can take control of the vehicle at any time in the event of an emergency. 

Google is shifting its self-driving car program up a gear, after it announced that it will begin testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in Mountain View this summer. The company, which this week revealed that its fleet has experienced just 11 accidents in six years of tests (each of which it put down to human drivers), now has the green-light to take things further. The self-piloted vehicles will be limited to a maximum speed of 25 miles/hour, and each will include a safety driver, who can take over at any point via the on-board wheel, brake and accelerator. Google said its fleet has logged nearly a million miles of cumulative driving within its test facilities — the program has ramped up to around 10,000 miles per week, it said — which means the vehicles “have lots of experience to draw on.” How much exactly? Google said around 75 years of human driving experience.

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