How a Self-Driving Car Sees the World

Lotte Biesheuvel
May 9th 2014

Recently I got my drivers license, it took me a year and a half to get it so you can imagine I was pretty happy. It might sound like I'm a bad driver, but in Holland it's not uncommon to take a lot of time to obtain the permit. Now I'm cruising the decorated highways of the Netherlands in my dad's car. I learned to shift the gear, to steer and most importantly to drive safe, looking around and pay close attention to everything.

These days learning to shift gears is not necessary anymore, a lot of cars are automatic. And in the nearby future it might not even be required to get the driving license at all, if Google self-driving cars take over.

The self-driving car has driven almost 700.000 miles by itself, and is now at the stage where it can drive through busy city streets. The software in the car can detect hundreds of different moving objects and respond properly according to the road and the driving rules in that area.
The car can respond to situations that are likely to happen, such as other cars stopping at a traffic light. But it can also respond properly when a car makes a sudden stop or doesn't stop at a red light.

In the video below you can see the spatial perception of the car, the route, and how it responds to other road users. There are still a lot of problems to be solved before this show can really hit the road, for instance driving in other cities or countries, but it seem just a matter of time.

Back in time, we thought we were cool kids when we were able to ride a bike with "no hands", imagine how cool our kids and grandchildren will feel!

See more at : Google

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