New Castle News

Community News Network

May 28, 2014

Google unveils company-designed driverless vehicle prototypes

SAN FRANCISCO — Google has designed its own self-driving vehicles that transport passengers at the push of a button as it aims to spread the new automotive technology, co- founder Sergey Brin said.

Working with automotive partners, the company plans to have 100 to 200 test vehicles that are fully autonomous with extra safety features, Brin said during a conference Tuesday hosted by technology blog Re/code in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Google, which until now had added its technology to other vehicles, plans to start testing the prototypes with drivers this year, he said.

Brin's announcement comes amid a push to encourage the adoption of driverless cars, which aim to make roads safer with the company's hardware and software. The two-seat prototypes, which have safety items such as additional foam at the bumper and a plastic-like windshield, are part of the company's research laboratory called Google X, which is led by Brin.

"We took a look from the ground up as to what it would be like if we had self-driving cars in the world," Brin said. "We've worked with partners in the Detroit area, Germany and California," he said without giving specifics.

The prototypes let users ask for a destination address and then drives them to it, Brin said.

 The vehicles will initially have a top speed of 25 miles per hour and won't have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal, the Mountain View, California-based company said in a blog post.

Work on autonomous vehicles has gathered speed as carmakers build smarter cars that will help reduce accidents, and make driving easier and safer.

In 2012, there were 1.3 million people killed in road traffic accidents, making it the ninth leading cause of death globally, according to World Health Organization data. It is the leading cause of death for people aged 15 to 29.

Google has been testing driverless cars -- including modified Prius and Lexus models from Toyota  -- mounted with cameras, radar sensors and lasers on U.S. roads. General Motors, Volvo, Nissan and others are jockeying against Google to roll out hands-free cars.

Over the next two decades, self-driving cars are going to get a bigger share of the market. Such vehicles will reach 11.8 million in 2035, according to Egil Juliussen, an analyst at IHS Automotive. And by 2050, he expects almost all cars to become self-driving. They are estimated to fetch premiums that will start at $7,000 to $10,000 in 2025, he said.

Brin said the Google vehicle is still being worked on at this point.

"It's still early" he said. "We're still doing lots of development with the software, the hardware and the experience."

On another Google project, Glass, Brin said he hopes to have it commercially available by the end of the year, while adding he isn't sure at this point. The devices bring digital content and features such as photo-taking and checking messages to computerized eyewear.

 

 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Community News Network
  • Wal-Mart to cut prices more aggressively in back-to-school push

    Wal-Mart Stores plans to cut prices more aggressively during this year's back-to-school season and will add inventory to its online store as the chain battles retailers for student spending.

    July 21, 2014

  • Hospitals let patients schedule ER visits

    Three times within a week, 34-year-old Michael Granillo went to the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center in Los Angeles because of intense back pain. Each time, Granillo, who didn't have insurance, stayed for less than an hour before leaving without being seen by a doctor.

    July 21, 2014

  • Starved Pennsylvania 7-year-old weighed only 25 pounds

    A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy authorities described as being so underweight he looked like a human skeleton has been released from the hospital.

    July 21, 2014

  • Malaysians wonder 'Why us?' after second loss of airline jet

    It was all too familiar. Grieving families rushing to airport. The flashing television graphics of a plane's last radar appearance. The uncomfortable officials before a heavy thicket of microphones.
    For many Malaysians, the disappearance of Flight 370 in March has been a long trauma from which the nation has not yet recovered.

    July 18, 2014

  • A quarter of the world's most educated people live in the 100 largest cities

    College graduates are increasingly sorting themselves into high-cost, high-amenity cities such as Washington, New York, Boston and San Francisco, a phenomenon that threatens to segregate us across the country by education.

    July 18, 2014

  • Your chocolate addiction is only going to get more expensive

    For nearly two years, cocoa prices have been on the rise. Finally, that's affecting the price you pay for a bar of chocolate - and there's reason to believe it's only the beginning.

    July 18, 2014

  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 17, 2014

  • The terrible history of passenger planes getting shot out of the sky

    What is more clear is that, if initial reports are true, this would be the deadliest incident of a civilian passenger plane being shot down in modern memory. In some instances, the causes of the disaster are still shrouded in mystery. Here are some of the worst events.

    July 17, 2014

  • 130408_NT_BEA_good kids We're raising a generation of timid kids

    A week ago, a woman was charged with leaving her child in the car while she went into a store. Her 11-year-old child. This week, a woman was arrested for allowing her 9-year-old daughter to go to the park alone. Which raises just one question: America, what the heck is wrong with you?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • web_starbucks-cof_big_ce.jpg Starbucks sees more Apple-like stores after Colombia debut

    This week Starbucks opened its first location in Colombia — a 2,700-square-foot store with a heated patio, concrete columns, mirrors on the ceiling and walls of colorful plants.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 fell from the sky in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Thursday, killing all 298 people aboard. Many are speculating that Russian rebels (supported by Vladimir Putin) are responsible for downing the aircraft. What do you think?

Yes. All evidence points that way.
No. Everyone is so quick to point fingers, but there's not enough evidence to support claims of Russian guilt.
I'm not sure. I'll just wait until the investigation is over to make up my mind.
What is up with these Malaysian Airlines planes? I know one airline I won't be flying any time soon...
     View Results