Google’s moonshot to build a fleet of self driving cars is bringing the cars into the big cities at last. In a big city there is a lot obstacles like jaywalking pedestrians, people riding bikes, double parked delivery trucks, and other hazards that can make the most experienced drivers skip a heartbeat. Google said in a blog post that the company’s self driving cars are now being tested within cities and coming even closer to a being fully operational without human intervention.
“A mile of city driving is much more complex than a mile of freeway driving, with hundreds of different objects moving according to different rules of the road in a small area,” wrote Chris Urmson, “We’ve improved our software so it can detect hundreds of distinct objects simultaneously — pedestrians, buses, a stop sign held up by a crossing guard, or a cyclist making gestures that indicate a possible turn. A self-driving vehicle can pay attention to all of these things in a way that a human physically can’t — and it never gets tired or distracted.“
There are thousands of hazards on a city street, and the software Google is building is attempting to learn and understand each of these unique situations. Each city is different, and laws for the road vary in each state so Google has a long way before the cars are road ready across the nation.
While Google is working to overcome these challenges the company has come a long way from the start of this project. Tell us what you think about Google’s work on the self driving cars in the comments below.