With more manufacturers and tech companies joining the fray in building autonomous or self-driving cars, petrol heads are getting increasingly worried that the future will render the cars of today obsolete. However, Google’s latest experiment on autonomous driving technology ended less than favourably.
The Internet search engine giant revealed that, during the course of two months and after 679,000km clocked, test drivers (humans) had to retake the wheel of 13 times in autonomous cars to avoid accidents. A total of 272 recorded technical issues were reported as well, although there aren’t any exact figures as to how many pants these drivers had to change during the course of that test.
Out of the 272 issues, 69 disengagements were due to safety concerns, with 56 of those account for real-life situations. Despite that, Google remains adamant that these numbers aren’t entirely representative of actual safety, saying “the 56 events would very likely not have resulted in a real-world contact if the test driver had not taken control”.
Nevertheless, the folks at Google still have their heads held high, stating that such setbacks provide vital data in ensuring that all possible real-life scenarios are accounted for. Reliability of its autonomous cars has also improved over the years and the company will clock more mileage for further tests in both real-life and computer simulations. Google’s fleet of autonomous test vehicles consists of the Lexus RX450h and Koala EV car (pictured above).
It’ll take a few more years before you and I can sit back and relax in our cars on our daily journey from Point A to Point B. However, with Google’s proven expertise in technology, we’ll never know how quickly autonomous driving could be a thing. Should someone start counting the days these crooked driving schools have left before Google starts bagging their piece of the pie?