In the Netherlands, about 650 people die annually in traffic, almost two per day. Also congestion a major problem where a significant part of the population has to deal with every day. Google thinks the solution to this problem have found, namely the autonomous car.
The autonomous car of Google is a project of Google, Google's lab in California, which are done in secret revolutionary developments.
At this time driving several test cars of Google around. These cars have approximately $ 150,000 of equipment on board, such as a LIDAR system of $ 70,000. On top of the car a range finder is mounted. This is a 64 Velodyne-beam laser. With this laser, the vehicle can generate a detailed 3D map of its surroundings. The car then takes these maps generated and combines it with a high-resolution map of the world. Adds several types of data models created that the car itself can let it ride.
By late 2013, three US states allow self-propelled cars then on the public road. Nevada was the first state who took the self-governing car in a legislative amendment. As of March 1, 2012 allowed the self-governing cars here on the road. Florida was followed in April 2012, and from September 2012, the self-governing cars in California were on the road. As cars are still in a testing phase and have not yet been totally optimized, it is currently still requires that a driver's license with the driver's seat. It can intervene in case the need arises.
In August 2012 Google indicated that the self-propelled test vehicles had covered more than 500,000 km without causing accidents. There was also much less often a near collision, if you compare it by persons controlled cars. Or were self-propelled cars once involved in an accident. Thanks to the camera located on the car, the researchers were able to analyze the images of the accident. The accident appeared to have been caused by a car being driven by a person while the Google car stopped at a traffic light.
The self-propelled Google car receives continuous information via satellite about the traffic situation at that time. In other words, the car knows where the traffic jams. Thanks to the data models can avoid the car choose congestion, this trip could probably shorter. Through this more efficient use of public roads, will have to decrease traffic congestion considerably.
In austustus 2013 the news was brought out that Google is working on self-propelled unmanned taxis, known as robo-cabs. These taxis can pick passengers on call and bring them to their desired destination. Initially there would be drivers behind the wheel of the robo-cabs to intervene if needed. The goal of Google is that these cars can eventually operate fully independently. Google also recently made an investment of $ 258 million in the taxi call Uber app. Using this app should customers within minutes of a Google car should be able to order using their mobile phone or tablet.