In recent years, Google has been working to perfect sophisticated autonomous vehicle technology.
At this stage, Google’s autonomous technology allows the vehicle to operate itself between two specific locations in real time without input from a controller. Meaning, the driver can sit in the passenger seat while the car is responsible for all real driving.Supporters technology such as Google, say autonomous vehicles would reduce the level of traffic congestion and accidents on the roads around the country. However, so far only a few states allow the operation of autonomous vehicles on highways. Among states is Nevada, which passed driverless vehicles to operate on state highways last year.
Google now predicts that vehicles using driverless technology will be available to consumers in just 3-5 years.
“The improvement may be such that we can make cars safer driving people do,” said Anthony Levandowski, product manager of Google technology self-driving car, a Society of Automotive Engineers meeting in Washington the week past. “I can not say that I will be able to have a Google car in his garage next year. Expect to launch the technology in the next five years. How does it get released yet to be determined.”
While Google is optimistic about autonomous driving technology, federal regulators have their doubts. However, the Government recognizes that self-driving technology could help to significantly reduce the number of fatalities on the roads across the country.
Still, David Strickland, director of the National Administration of U.S. of Highway Traffic Safety, said recently that autonomous vehicles were “very far”.
Of course, the big challenge ahead of Google is to find a way to make sure the software is reliable because failure or software related autonomous driving could leave the vehicle without proper control.
“We are focused on building confidence and trust so that we can understand the system will perform safely in all conditions,” said Levandowski. “How can you trust the system? How can you know how How you design the appropriate processes to understand and minimize failure How can bake redundant braking in a car?”
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) also says it comes with a set of rules and regulations governing the minimum performance would have to be created. In addition, the agency would also have to learn how to test autonomous vehicles.
“It becomes a challenge to find out how the government will reach a level of performance that is objective and verifiable worlds, such failure could happen … Part of this has to do with whether we should be looking at the electronic underlying “added Dan Smith, associate director for vehicle safety to the NHTSA