The latest news in the car development technology comes from the Detroit auto show. The leaders in automaking, General Motors, gave a statement about intention to work with Google on a project about self-driving car technology.
Even though he is not the one deciding if GM and Google will cooperate on this project, Jon Lauckner spilled the beans in an interview at the auto show. His comments were right on time, because two days later, Chris Urmson’s agenda included a public conference, where he spoke in his capacity as chief of Google’s driverless car project. The most anticipated part of the conference’s speech was the announcements Google would make about the choices in partnerships with auto companies for this specific project.
Both companies have shown considerable interest in the new industry of driverless cars in the recent past. Self-driving cars have been a hot topic for both companies in recent months. GM said that, by 2017, driverless technology would be possible, however limited, such as discerning pedestrians. The GM CEO also released an active participation in building the “special” highway around Detroit, a network of roads of about 120 miles, equipped with sensors which will allow cars to intercommunicate.
The latest update in the self-driving technology is that cars will be available for the public by 2017 the earliest and by 2020 the latest. Mass production, however, will only be possible after the manufacturers are sure the system is safe and works properly. Also, the team is working on making cheaper and smaller sensors for the driverless tech.
The goal of Urmson is to get to the point where the cars will no longer need human steering. Consequently, all cars will still have the status of test cars, providing data about all the interactions on road, whether with walking or driving participants to the traffic.
No later than December, Google confirmed an operating prototype driving properly on the test track. This prototype is the first of 150, courtesy of Roush Enterprises Inc., a company hired by Google for this project. Surprisingly, 700,000 miles on board and no crash is the current statistic for Google’s cars, and that on public roads. The new efforts put into this technology by Google might have had some competition as incentive, from Mercedes and Audi, and they are trying very hard to be the first to hit the market.
Image Source: NBC News