ATLANTA - Google is planning to unleash more than 100 self-driving cars on the streets of California in the near future.
Channel 2 consumer adviser Clark Howard took a look at the technology behind self-driving cars.
Google’s new self-driving car has no steering wheel, no controls at all, but it only tops out at 25 miles per hour. Howard said100 of the prototypes are soon to hit the road for testing near Google headquarters.
Google’s last model, a Lexus SUV, has logged over 100,000 miles on the streets of Mountain View, California. It uses a combination of GPS with laser sensors that detect real world movement. Google recently released a video that shows what the car’s computer sees when it’s driving. It can detect pedestrians crossing the street and bicyclists who might sneak up from behind.
Self-driving cars may seem like something out of a science fiction movie, but you’ve probably seen or used some of the sophisticated technology in many current vehicles.
Auto manufacturers around the world have been toying with the idea of autonomous cars for years. This year at the consumer electronics show, automakers BMW, AUDI and Ford all had some form of self-driving car technology to show off.
The Toyota Highlander, like many new vehicles today, is covered in sensors that help the driver avoid accidents. It has lane assist that will let you know if you’re drifting out of your lane and it has adaptive cruise control that will slow down and adjust to traffic depending on how close you are to other vehicles.
Many new vehicles have active braking technology that will stop your car if it senses you are going to hit something. Currently, only four states have laws that will allow driverless cars on the road: Florida, Michigan, Nevada and California.
Most experts predict it will be about 20 years before driverless cars really start taking off in America.