Google Self-Driving Cars: Available in 3-5 Years?

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Google Self-Driving Cars: Available in 3-5 Years?

The head of Google’s Autonomous Driving project says that we only have to wait for 3-5 more years to ride the self-driving cars. Perhaps the most ambitious and hopeful deadline yet since other predictions said such cars will be available in 2020 and beyond. Other people even predicted that probably we won’t be able to ride self-driving cars in this lifetime.

Notwithstanding all the predictions about self-driving cars and when are people going to be able to ride them, Anthony Levandowski, Google’s Product Manager for autonomous driving, gave out the timeline that it is possible that the world could have the self-driving cars in a 3-to-5-year-time-frame. On a talk at a Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) conference at Washington, Levandowski said, “I can’t tell you you’ll be able to have a Google car in your garage next year. [But] we expect to release the technology in the next five years. In what form it gets released is still to be determined.”

However, it is also a challenge to get these cars, if ever, approved for use at public highways everywhere, not limited to a couple of states for testing purposes.

Also, in a report by Bloomberg News, Dan Smith (Senior Associate Director for Vehicle Safety at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) said, “It gets to be a massive challenge to figure out how will the government come up with a performance standard that is objective and testable for so many different scenarios where failure could possibly occur. Part of that has to do with if we should be looking at the underlying electronics.”

Some people are skeptical, as well, with Levandowski’s indicated time frame. “To create a car from the ground up, a new model (not an all-new-for-2013 refresh) takes 3-7 years.” Indeed, this innovation of cars is still subjected to a lot of thinking and changes. Of course it’s exciting to know that it is possible to ride a car with no driver but people must be cautious and thorough in entering this possibility.

John Diaz
Eagan, Minesotta
Satellite Communications Companies
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