Google brings 'Knight Rider' closer to reality
Published 13/10/2010 | 05:00
Google is testing a series of cars that can drive themselves by analysing the road and the actions of other cars around them through a series of sensors.
The internet search engine giant is testing a series of specially adapted Toyota Prius hybrids on the streets of California near the company's headquarters.
The cars have already covered 140,000 miles in testing. Most of the miles have been without any human intervention at all, although every car has had a driver behind the wheel and an engineer in the passenger seat in case of an emergency.
Video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range-finder all work together to 'see' the traffic and roads. Google has adapted seven of the Toyotas, which all set off on journeys of 1,000 miles at a time without human interaction. Apparently, the only incident so far has been when one of the cars was rear-ended by another, human-driven, vehicle.
"While this project is very much in the experimental stage, it provides a glimpse of what transportation might look like in the future thanks to advanced computer science," said the official Google blog.