The fact that Google has been in the works of developing an autonomous driving system has been in the known for some time. However, the search engine giant has today divulged into some updates about their progress.
Google’s Director of the Self-Driving Car Project, Chris Urmson, has said in a blog post that their prototypes have logged "thousands of miles" of additional testing near their headquarters in Mountain View, California. Urmson went on to say that the company has shifted their focus to "mastering city street driving" as "a mile of city driving is much more complex than a mile of freeway driving, with hundreds of different objects moving according to different rules of the road in a small area."
As a result of this, Google is now better equipped to detect “hundreds of distinct objects simultaneously”. This includes other cars, pedestrians, buses, as well as a stop sign that was being held by a crossing guard. Google’s self driving tech also identified a cyclist making gestures to indicate a possible turn.
Urmson goes on to say that street driving is "fairly predictable" for a computer, and the company has built models that can expect predictable behavior - such as cars stopping at red lights - as well as unusual behavior such as cars running red lights.
While Urmson says there are still "lots of problems to solve," the company is growing more optimistic that they can achieve their goal of creating a car that doesn't require human intervention.