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Car that can drive itself a possibility soon


New York, April 30

Are we heading towards a future when a car, not a driver, can safely bring us home?

This appears not quite impossible if we go by the progress made by the Google self-driving cars in navigating the congested city lanes in California.

pic source; theguardian.com
pic source; theguardian.com

“We have improved our software so it can detect hundreds of distinct objects simultaneously – pedestrians, buses, a stop sign held up by a crossing guard, or a cyclist making gestures that indicate a posCsible turn,” Chris Urmson, who leads Google’s self-driving car programme, wrote in a blog post.

A self-driving vehicle can pay attention to all of these things in a way that a human physically can not – and it never gets tired or distracted, Urmson noted.

“As it turns out, what looks chaotic and random on a city street to the human eye is actually fairly predictable to a computer,” he added.

The team at self-driving car programme at Google has built software models of what to expect.

Since 2011, Google has logged nearly 700,000 miles with the cars, mostly on highways.

The cars have now also logged thousands of miles on the streets of Mountain View, California.

The technology of the cars includes a laser radar system and a laser-based range finder that lets software create detailed 3-D maps of the surroundings, CNN reported.