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Google Self-Driving Car Project
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Happy holidays from our team! Can you guess who won best dressed?
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This prophetic video depicts the dangers of a robot-driven vehicle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m9YtGJ3ptU .
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It's been an action-packed summer developing our prototype vehicles and we're excited to share an update on our progress.

You can think of the process of creating a self-driving vehicle in three stages.  First we have to build the basic structural and mechanical functions of the vehicle, like the drivetrain and the chassis — the parts that make it move.  Then we get to where we're at now, where we add the “self-driving” features — the sensors and software — and optimize how they interact with the vehicle.  In the last stage of development, we will add all the finishes, like a final paint job and interior buttons, that complete a “real” vehicle you’d want to ride in.   

Drivers like Priscilla and Alan, who have spent years teaching our Lexus vehicles to drive on city streets, are now working in private facilities to provide feedback on the performance of these early-stage prototypes.  At our test track, we can run them through a variety of tests and terrains.  We’ve got traffic lights, construction zones, wobbling cyclists — everything we need to simulate a busy street environment. 

Of course, you might be wondering how our safety drivers can safely test a vehicle that doesn’t have a steering wheel — how would they be able to take control of it if necessary?  We knew that California law would require any vehicles still being tested to have manual controls, so we’ve had a plan ready.  After each vehicle is assembled, we fit a temporary steering wheel and set of controls into it.  We’ll remove these manual controls after the prototypes have finished being tested and permitted, because our vehicles are ultimately designed to operate without a human driver.

It’s been an exhilarating few months, and we still have a lot of development work to do, but we can’t help but smile when we see our first few vehicles doing laps around the test track.
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José Carrizo's profile photoAmporn Janta's profile photoJared Davis's profile photoMila Sukhareva's profile photo
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Move back to civilization if you wanna test it.
It's worthless for them to test it in rural areas. 
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Ever wondered what it's like to test-drive a self-driving car? Our safety drivers sit behind the wheel of our vehicles to help test our software safely and provide feedback to our engineers to improve the experience. Brian leads this team and has “driven” over 30,000 miles in our self-driving vehicles – that’s the equivalent of roughly 10 trips across the United States! In this video, he explains how the team goes about this testing every day.
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Paige Caruso the kids also 
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Our live field trip with +Make: is happening in 40 minutes! Come into our garage to chat with David, our product manager, and Jaime, a systems engineer on our team. Click the play button below at 11am PT to watch live!  #makercamp #selfdrivingcars
 
Friday at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern, we buckle up for a field trip with the +Google Self-Driving Car Project team! Google has been developing prototypes of vehicles that drive themselves—just push a button and they'll take you where you want to go! Join us during this live field trip to learn more about how the cars work, and what the team has been up to recently. You do not want to miss this Friday at #makercamp !
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Make:. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Q&A
Preview
Live
Field Trip: Google Self-Driving Cars!
Fri, August 1, 2014, 2:00 PM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

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What color/frequency and power is used by the lasers? Should people worry about any possible damage to human retina, what about longer exposure to several of those vehicles at the same road?
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In our last video, Jaime talked about how we design our vehicle hardware to withstand the stresses of driving, including the vibrations and shock profiles that come with moving on uneven roads. To keep improving on our hardware’s performance under such conditions, we run rigorous simulations and tests based on data from real-world experiences.

Here are some photos of the team with a vehicle — you might call it a prototype of our prototype — that was driven over different surfaces to measure the typical forces and movements experienced throughout. This makes up some of the information that goes into our simulations and ultimately helps us refine our hardware design.
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Michigan roads.
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The +Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, has launched a new exhibit, “Where To? A History of Autonomous Vehicles”. If you're in town this week, visit the museum over Mountain View Community Weekend on May 31 and June 1 (more info: http://goo.gl/fmjRoU), and check out our second generation vehicle, the Lexus, in the exhibit! And, here’s a fun look at how we managed to maneuver the vehicle through the limited space in the museum.
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USE ELECTRECITY PLEASE
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Have them in circles
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Today we’re unwrapping the best holiday gift we could’ve imagined: the first real build of our self-driving vehicle prototype.  

The vehicle we unveiled in May (goo.gl/qDUtgq) was an early mockup—it didn’t even have real headlights! Since then, we’ve been working on different prototypes-of-prototypes, each designed to test different systems of a self-driving car—for example, the typical “car” parts like steering and braking, as well as the “self-driving” parts like the computer and sensors. We’ve now put all those systems together in this fully functional vehicle—our first complete prototype for fully autonomous driving.

We’re going to be spending the holidays zipping around our test track, and we hope to see you on the streets of Northern California in the new year.  Our safety drivers will continue to oversee the vehicle for a while longer, using temporary manual controls as needed while we continue to test and learn.  Happy holidays!
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The new vehicle is perfect for a good alternative for special needs. Perfect timing for the aging baby boomers and the cost of the vehicle for the customers would be covered by insurance company policies for specific needs similar to electronic wheel chairs. Options for the vehicle for example can be oxygen tanks and similar special needs equipment.
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Safety drivers are trained to be very conservative in terms of when and how to take over manual control of our vehicles when we’re out testing on the road. Part of this training involves driving exercises that help our drivers better understand the limits of a car, preparing them for different situations in which they must safely take over control of a vehicle on the road.
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Would self driving cars be a viable alternative to building a streetcar (rail) system? I have heard that self driving cars are getting close to production when navigating specific routes. How close would this type of application be? I have wondered about it since San Antonio voted down it's streetcar rail plan. I think the rail street car system had little support mostly because it seemed like  outdated technology.  
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Thanks everyone who tuned into our Field Trip with +Make: last Friday! If you missed it, you can watch the video at http://youtu.be/JbSmSp-fL1g . And, we know we weren't able to get to everyone's questions last week, but wanted to catch back up by answering a few more today.

Here are more answers for the campers:

1. +Mjolnir Academy asked: "Will self driving cars have an override for human control?"

There are many people working on self-driving cars, and it'll depend on what each group decides to do with theirs! At Google, we're working towards "fully autonomous" vehicles. This means that other than pressing a button to go or stop, you will not have to manually control the vehicle — after all, there are no steering wheels or pedals! This way, you can totally relax while you're getting around, and not have to worry about any driving.

2. +WHL Teens asked: "Can you buy one of these cars yet? If you can, where can you buy them?"

Unfortunately not — we're actually still tinkering in our garage and improving the software to make the vehicle design even better. For now, we don't have any vehicles for public use, but do stay tuned to this page for more news on our progress! We hope to safely get these out to the world soon and would love to keep you posted.

3. MakerSpace Delhi, IN By Ayan asked: "From 8 years old camper: Can we sleep on our way relying fully on self driving cars?"

Yes, once you press the go button and are on your way, we certainly hope that you'll be able to take a nap! What else would you like to do in a self-driving car? Leave a comment below and let us know. 
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+Carl Bramhall yawn....its an autonomous vehicle, not a taxi or a car, you may as well say its a train or a tram, guided by invisible tracks!
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Get ready for a virtual field trip with the Google self-driving car team! This Friday, we’re joining +Make:  for a live Hangout on Air where we’ll take you through how our self-driving car works, and what we’ve been up to recently. You'll meet David, our product manager, and Jaime, a systems engineer on our team, and you'll be able ask them questions live too.

RSVP "yes" on this event page and join us at 11am PT on Friday! #makercamp   #selfdrivingcars    
 
Friday at 11am Pacific / 2pm Eastern, we buckle up for a field trip with the +Google Self-Driving Car Project team! Google has been developing prototypes of vehicles that drive themselves—just push a button and they'll take you where you want to go! Join us during this live field trip to learn more about how the cars work, and what the team has been up to recently. You do not want to miss this Friday at #makercamp !
This Hangout On Air is hosted by Make:. The live video broadcast will begin soon.
Q&A
Preview
Live
Field Trip: Google Self-Driving Cars!
Fri, August 1, 2014, 2:00 PM
Hangouts On Air - Broadcast for free

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willing to test in rural area send a A2Bbot my way
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#FunFact ! Did you know that the shape of our prototype vehicle was rounded to create a larger field of view for our sensors? Jaime, a systems engineer, explains this and how we’ve designed other components of the self-driving vehicle. 

And – please let us know if you have other questions about our project, and we'll do our best to answer them!
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go google go
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Join us on a cruise down memory lane with a few photos that show how our self-driving vehicle prototypes have evolved over the years. #TBT
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Llll
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People
Have them in circles
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Story
Tagline
Making it safer, easier and more enjoyable to get around.
Introduction
The self-driving car project is part of Google[x], our “moonshot factory” for working on sci-fi sounding solutions to really big problems in the world. The project’s main goal is to improve people’s lives by making it safer, easier, and more enjoyable to get around.