Google says driverless cars are coming within the next five years

By on September 26, 2012, 7:30 AM

Flying cars don’t appear to be in the cards anytime soon but according to Google co-founder Sergey Brin, we’ll have one less responsibility while behind the wheel in the near future. During the signing of a favorable bill pertaining to autonomous vehicles, he predicted everyone will have access to self driving automobiles that will take us to and from wherever we need to go within five years.

Google is one of the leading companies behind the push for self-driving cars as they have logged over 300,000 miles in testing. Brin poined out that their current fleet of driverless cars has already driven 50,000 miles without any human interaction. The search giant is planning to provide cars for select staff members in the near future.

Autonomous cars of the future are said to be safer and more economical than current automobiles. The co-founder pointed out that more than 40,000 people are killed in vehicle accidents each year – a figure that is expected to drop drastically once computers take the wheel.

Furthermore, these robotic rides will provide independent transportation to individuals that are currently unable to drive. Driverless cars could virtually eliminate drunk driving and provide independence for people with disabilities that otherwise would have to rely on family, friends or public transit to get from point A to point B.

The bill, SB-1298 Vehicles: autonomous vehicles: safety and performance requirements, will allow driverless cars to operate on California roads by 2015 pending certifications that say they are safe for use.




User Comments: 20

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Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yeah maybe we might, but I can't imagine what the cost of one of those vehicles will be with it's intelligent on-board AI....Probably staggering.

If they do manage to replace full human behavior behind the wheel in 5 years (which I seriously doubt), It will no doubt be something of a status icon among the rich for way more that any 5 years, in my opinion anyway.

Scshadow said:

I think as long as they've designed good fail safes for component failure, computer driven cars will be far better then the average Joe smo who feels he has no obligations to follow the rules of the road.This is something I'd be scared and excited to have at the same time. The nation might collapse before this can ever become main stream but if it doesn't I look forward to this.

yorro said:

Brace yourselves, the future is comin'

Guest said:

Five years? funny, I've seen one in top gear a year ago (maybe more)

Guest said:

Nice to dream.... but back to reality, how much will this add to the price of a car ? And what about all those truck drivers and taxi drivers who'll lose their jobs ? And what about motorcycles that are steered by weight transfer ?

Guest said:

I'm a good driver, however all the bad drivers piss me off. They make me get road rage, and being a very confident driver, this makes me a dangerous driver. I've driven everyday for 15 years and have never been in an accident, I have very quick reactions. Still I have had many close encounters racing through the city screaming like a crazy person at people driving below the speedlimit, people who need to stop to change lanes, etc etc... I know my road rage will probably result in a deadly accident one day, I would get one of these driverless cars.

Guest said:

I love the "will stop drunk driving" great ad compaign....don't worry Drink Bud, get toasted and jump in your driveless car

Got a little captain in you, no worries you made the right investment ahead of time and got our new driveless car

What happens when wasted rere decides to flip back into manual mode when already on the highway going at a good clip of speed....hmmm

hitech0101 said:

Google street view will be huge in five years I guess.

BMfan BMfan said:

They are already making cars dull to drive and google is now taking it a step further.

Awesome.

tehbanz tehbanz said:

Think about it, I think automated cars would really only work best when ALL cars are automated. How would the road work with a mix of automated/non automated.. I have a feeling the automated car would not handle the unpredictability of a human being behind the wheel very well.

thatguyandrew92 said:

Nice to dream.... but back to reality, how much will this add to the price of a car ? And what about all those truck drivers and taxi drivers who'll lose their jobs ? And what about motorcycles that are steered by weight transfer ?

Welcome to a world with technology. This is nothing new. They will lose jobs. And people drive motorcycles because they WANT to. Why on Earth would they be controlled by robots? That makes absolutely no sense. What are you thinking?

Camikazi said:

Five years? funny, I've seen one in top gear a year ago (maybe more)

Not the same since the BMW is "trained" to go around the track by a real driver first then it just copies the same route once put in the right starting place. Google cars will be able to drive in unknown places by itself by checking the terrain and figuring things out on their own. Now if the BMW could navigate new courses or race courses with cars on them without training then it would be comparable.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Think about it, I think automated cars would really only work best when ALL cars are automated. How would the road work with a mix of automated/non automated.. I have a feeling the automated car would not handle the unpredictability of a human being behind the wheel very well.

This is the real problem with automated cars. Once you start putting large numbers of these on the streets, the ACs have to interact with human drivers and vice versa on a much larger scale than what Google can test for. The other issue is how these would affect expressway travel. I don't know how they drive the expressways in CA, but here in Georgia ACs would become a major traffic obstruction if not restricted exclusively to the right lane.

Guest said:

Nice to dream.... but back to reality, how much will this add to the price of a car ? And what about all those truck drivers and taxi drivers who'll lose their jobs ? And what about motorcycles that are steered by weight transfer ?

Welcome to a world with technology. This is nothing new. They will lose jobs. And people drive motorcycles because they WANT to. Why on Earth would they be controlled by robots? That makes absolutely no sense. What are you thinking?

I'm thinking Google is thinking safety etc, but I don't think driverless vehicles will ever be successful because of a) expense b) jobs c) fun.

Rasta211 said:

This is great, but I fear some ***** is going to get himself killed be throwing himself in front of one of these cars to see if it can avoid/stop in time. When that fool dies that's going to put a delay on anything heading in the driverless direction.

RzmmDX said:

I was wondering if the car is able to properly park at the gas station when there is a queue.

Guest said:

For me, it's better to make driverless/autonomous mass transit rather than driverless cars

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I don't believe in filing lawsuits every time something happens but if one of those things ever hits me, look out court rooms it won't be the passengers I will be after.

If they ever do decide to implement automated driving, they had better fix a way for the officers to tell if the automated function was in use. I can see it now drivers across the globe pointing at the automated features when they were in control and crashed.

3DCGMODELER 3DCGMODELER said:

For $250,000.00 dollars u can have one to.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

Yeah there are a LOT of factors to consider, one I haven't heard about is how harsh elements might affect the sensors? I'd bet a bunch of things would prompt the driver to take over (and maybe park on the side of the road it the driver doesn't respond), but even with all the concerns I like imagining it. Unless you have a motorcycle or sports car, its pretty dull to drive. They're right though that if they do pull off the safety features; it could mean substantially less drunk driving and falling asleep at the wheel. Plus think of how much productive you could be if road trips meant a chance to kick back and do some work or read a book? Sounds sick if you ask me.

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