Engineers at Google are testing a self-driving car which the company says has the potential to cut road traffic deaths by half (BBC News).
The car uses video cameras mounted on the roof, radar sensors, and a laser range finder to ‘see’ other traffic.
So far the test cars have logged more than 140,000 miles on the road. Engineers say that forays onto the highways have been largely incident-free, apart from one bump when a car was reportedly hit from behind at a traffic light.
Sebastian Thrun, software engineer with Google, said: “Safety has been our first priority in this project. Our cars are never unmanned. We always have a trained safety driver behind the wheel who can take over as easily as one disengages cruise control.
“According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million lives are lost every year in road traffic accidents. We believe our technology has the potential to cut that number, perhaps by as much as half.
“We’ve always been optimistic about technology’s ability to advance society, which is why we have pushed so hard to improve the capabilities of self-driving cars beyond where they are today.
“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. And that future is very exciting.”
Click here to read the full BBC News report.
Click here to read the full Google blog.