You’ve seen a lot of Google’s self-driving car, but that doesn’t mean it’s coming soon. A new report says the vehicle is nowhere near road ready. I myself am a big fan of cars too, but I also doubt that how the new concept cars will be put into practise in such a short time. Obviously Google has not put enough energy into this sphere.
We’ve seen each version of Google’s self-driving car.
“There’s no steering wheel in the way.”
And we’re ready to give it a test drive. So where is it?
Well, a report out last week from MIT Technology Review outlines a number of obstacles Google needs to address before its cars can share the road.
For starters, they can’t handle bad weather. Google has yet to test the vehicles in snow and heavy rain, making the car off-limits pretty much anywhere outside of California.
Back in May, Google told us, “We’ve taught the vehicle to recognize and navigate through construction zones.”
That’s true to an extent, but the director of Google’s car team, Chris Urmson, told MIT, “I could construct a construction zone that could befuddle the car.”
Potentially more dangerous is how it treats pedestrians. The car reportedly recognizes them as moving, human-shaped pixels, but Urmson agreed with MIT, which said, “The car wouldn’t be able to spot a police officer at the side of the road frantically waving for traffic to stop.”
But maybe the largest obstacle: mapping. So far, Google has only a few thousand miles of roadways and driveways mapped for its cars. And the vehicles require more information than a basic Google map.
Gizmodo adds it’s a bit unreasonable to expect robocars to drive uncharted roads. “But this presents a hyper-magnified version of the same problem that faces electric cars: The inability to just get out there and go wherever.”
And that’s perhaps the ultimate obstacle. Still, Google is taking this one challenge at a time.
Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt previously told The Wall Street Journal: “We have to find where the limits are. We have to actually use it. We have to create some test beds.”
Business Insider adds: “Google is doing what it can to address these problems. When a Google car encounters new street signs and lights, it sends feedback to update the mapping software.”
But let’s not forget the vehicle’s external challenges, like, you know, the law.
In Google’s home state of California, the DMV just introduced new safety regulations requiring every car to have a steering wheel. Meaning the auto you see here likely won’t be the exact version Californians will see someday.
And if it can’t take the weather, it’s probably not the one you’ll see on the roads anywhere else, either.