Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has been busy working on a self-driving car project that the company wants to launch in 2020. The director of this project has revealed his motivation for guaranteeing that this technology will be the standard within five years as reported on BBC News.
On Tuesday, Chris Urmson, the project chief of the self-driving cars at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL), spoke on a TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference and stated that his 11-year-old son will be taking his driving test in four and a half years.
“My team are committed to making sure that doesn’t happen,” Urmson stated.
Over the years, several car companies have chosen to incorporate driver-assist functions to its vehicles hoping that with time the technology will win over the people who still don’t feel comfortable being in a fully automated car. But Chris Urmson states that those changes the companies are introducing are not enough.
“That is not to say that driver-assistance cars won’t be useful but if we are really going to make changes to our cities, get rid of parking lots, we need self-drive cars,” Urmson stated.
In December, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) revealed its own prototype that it’s an electric pod, it will not have any conventional controls or even a steering wheel. But for early testing, the company will incorporate extra controls so that the test drivers can take over if a problem appears.
One of the motives for the self-driving car is that people are driving more and getting trapped in traffic jams. But, the self-driving cars might reduce the traffic accidents in a very drastic way.
“Some 1.2 million people are killed on the roads around the world each year. That number is equivalent to a jet falling out of the sky every day,” Urmson stated.
Mr. Urmson talked about how Google has gone through extensive testing that add up for more than 700,000 miles on the road. In 2013, the cars were given to one hundred employees for testing.
During the conference, Chris Urmson shared with the audience some of the most unusual situations in traffic that included a woman in an electric chair chasing a duck and a child driving in a toy car. And even though in the self-driving car handbook there is nothing that tells it how to react with those situations, the car slowed down and reacted the way that was expected on each situation.
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