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Just drove to Lake Tahoe in a self driving Lexus. It was amazing. So relaxing. I have done this trip perhaps 100 times but this time it was different. Magical..
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William Emeny's profile photoBrian Swartzfager's profile photoGino Cocchi's profile photoJames Pine's profile photo
105 comments
 
I'm so jealous. I bet you got some puzzled stares from onlookers.
 
I just parked my car in SF on a spot where I need to remove it at 9 am. I wish my car could just find another spot in the morning without me having to get up.

That was a feature request :-)
 
The end of taxicabs. And, I guess, private car ownership for quite a lot of people.
 
Can we modify its SLAM to navigate the roulette tables?
 
Is it really relaxing as a passenger in a driver-less car, or are you constantly worried about it not stopping, making a wrong turn or otherwise crashing etc?

There is also the issue of another motorist crashing into you - with no human to make an intuitive decision and take avoiding action
 
that would be sweet and great upgrade.
 
I can imagine sending message to the car "Pick me up from the airport at 2 p.m." and then - "Home, James, and don't spare the horses!"
 
how the car controls itself?with help of camera?what if it rains on car?can it control when raining?
 
Is it for real ? What is the series of the Lexus ?
Wow !! So many self driving car nowadays.
Makes me wonder, if those car can drive autonomously in Indonesian street, what will possibly happen ??
 
I can't wait to take a trip like that. I will then finally be able to enjoy driving around in a vehicle!
 
Awesome! But why did you wait until stopped to take the picture?
 
I'd like to see a picture of the outside. Does the Lexus have a Velodyne 64 on top like the Prius's or did you find a way to make it less conspicuous?
 
How do you drive a self driving car?
 
Good question but we will find out soon
 
I'm all for it... then the traffic light computer can send the ticket to the self driving car computer instead of me!
 
I don't think it would be boring... would give me more time to read.
 
Driving by the rules is already boring... fun driving is always in violation of some rule or regulation... so I say... forget it... let the car follow the rules and I'll do something else.
 
thts awsum 2 b able 2 do tht.. i cant amagine how much tht car costs
 
wow-how wonderful-I need one just to get to town!!!!
 
Cell Ph's & Vehicles R just Amazing with the Updated Technology and so very interesting to C the different things that they both can do.
 
+Udacity CS373 Class ,+CS373 Robotics Hackathon,@Paul Wooding, After the control systems being tested for more than 200,000 miles only the paranoid would worry about riding in that car.
I was one of the fortunate ones attending Prof. Thrun's inaugural online lectures on Udacity " Programming a Robotic Car". As far as I can tell, the work has as yet not addressed the problem of accident mitigation that you raise. However my superficial consideration of the problem leads me to believe that there is no way that a human , even with great experience and training, can beat a robot in a crash situation. Our brain and reflexes can react in 1/100 of a sec. and our thought driven reflexes at 1/10. A car with its sensors can react about a million times faster than that. In the early 70's I was involved in developing software to assess the forces and damage inflicted on trucks and cars during a collision including its effects on humans. It appears that a combination of that technology and the new robotic technology could very well address this technology effectively.
 
When do you ship one over to Zurich, I could use it for my daily commute to the office as beta tester :)
 
Wow this is awesome, wish I could forward time a bit to when it can get to consumers like me! ))
 
I can't wait to beta test this technology. Willing to travel to accomplish it. Have own safety helmet.
 
Keep us pushing the limits of our imagination. Thanks
 
How many makes/models have been outfitted at this point? Last I heard the tech was only being used in Prii (as +TOYOTA insists we call them). Glad to see some diversity added to the fleet :)
 
A wonderful achievement Google. You guys do amazing work :-)
 
My 17 year old nephew just died in a car crash due unfortunately to his own driver error. I say HURRY UP Google!
 
bullshit cough cough

i mean wow thats chool
 
Wow. The future is here.

One situation that worries me about autonomous vehicles is driving in residential neighborhoods, because human and animal behavior is so erratic. Another thing that worries me is that frequently while driving, I am anticipating human behavior due to an understanding of human psychology, and reacting accordingly. For example, I see somebody at a cross street who looks like they're about to go through the intersection, and I can see that they're not even looking -- so I slow down in anticipation of them pulling out in front of me. Or I see somebody's head in their rear vision mirror, and they look like they're about to throw open the door and get out, but I'm passing a turning vehicle on the right, which would cause me to hit the door if they do throw it open. Or I see kids playing ball on the side of the street, and I know the ball could bounce out on the street at any moment. Or I see a biker who is clearly distracted, and know he could veer out of the bike lane at any moment. There is an asymptotically long tail of things that would be exponentially hard to code up heuristics to catch, and which even humans take years to learn how to drive defensively against. It's not very satisfying to me to know that Google's technology is able to handle maybe 75% of these contingencies by simply driving at safe speeds and obeying traffic laws.

Of course, since the possibility of accidental death in a self-driving car is non-zero, whoever ends up being responsible for the accident, it's only a matter of time before the first major death and corresponding lawsuit.

What we need is every single car on the road driving autonomously (so that cars can coordinate with each other over a wireless network), and walled-off freeway lanes exclusively for autonomous vehicles.
 
wow you must be stupid if you drink and drive its not safe
 
And next winter you'll pack your self-riding skis? :-)
 
I'll take a self-driving yugo as long as it doesn't break down! I take a 2 1/2 trip every week, and sometimes I have to pull over to take quick nap. Hope this tech reaches consumers before the decade is over with.
 
do you have a link to a in deep presentation of this car ?
 
Send it to pick me up in Tampa Florida please!
 
that would be amazing.. but really didn't realise self-driving cars were allowed on public roads? Fake?
 
How long did it take? What would happen in winter when it is snowing? Can autonomous cars build a convoy?
 
MY mom has the ford focus with self automated parking it is so amazing... but one time it parked then started to roll backwards down a hill
 
+Jan Moren Maybe the end of taxicab drivers. My view is quite the opposite. I may not need to own a car. When I need to go somewhere, just request a car/van/motorcycle with my phone. Carpooling is also possible. Of course, I would be much more comfortable carpooling with my co-workers than with a random stranger. This is a bit like elevators now that I come think of it.
 
+Sebastian Thrun Very cool, did you happen to take any video of the drive? I think everyone would love to see some footage.
 
I was driving today and stuck in traffic when a fire engine came through (tried to come through is more like it). I immediately thought of +Sebastian Thrun and the self driving car and how one day cars will be able to part like the red sea for an ambulance or firetruck blocks in advance, before the riders are even aware there are emergency vehicles incoming. And, the emergency vehicles will have a heads up on what route to take that will be the fastest when we have smart roads. I was borne too soon to enjoy most of this but my kids can at least look forward to this technology. ++good
 
hope this technology will be available also to cars in the lower then 20k$ range in the next 10 years.
 
Did you trust it enough to take a nap on the way?
 
Tahoe is a challenging place to navagate.... Impressive.
Nav H.
 
Yay for society getting more lazy. Imagine remote hacking with this.
 
This isn't just for those who can afford it, as one of the comments speaks to a toy, this is also an amazing direction to move towards for those who are not able bodied but still require mobility. Let's face it - who can do without mobility and why should it be reserved for those with either sight or the physical ability to drive themselves.
 
You mean you just 'rode' to Lake Tahoe in a self driving car ;)
J Tran
 
a true auto-mobile
 
How in the hell does the car know how to drive? I wonder if i drove it in Mississippi, if it work for dirt roads?
 
You're only getting 19.9 mpg with a hybrid Lexus?
 
it is like taking the bus, but without other passengers in it ;-)
 
+Anthony Tordillos so far at least 6 Toyota Prius and an Audi TT are equipped with this technology. the Lexus RX450h is a new addition. those cars are choosen because hey have an all-electrical controlled drivetrain.
 
+Travis Zimbelman you are right. lexus builds very inefficient cars. but i guess they use the audi and the lexus not because of the efficiency, but to adapt the technology to other car types too.
 
i m waiting for the day when there is a not more than 20000$ version of this car comes up . Also i am curious to know about this car's behaviour in heavy traffic conditions .
 
Finally being able to sleep all the way to destination!
And not die because of it.
 
Driverless is cool I suppose, but did you do to pass the time? Read, do a crossword, make-out, sleep...?
 
Just drove back from Tahoe, and the system was flawless. My wife now prefers it to me driving.
 
when will these be on the market?

Let me correct that question - when will these be on the market at a price I can afford?
 
Big big cudos to +Chris Urmson and his team for making this happen. This is a transformational experience.
 
Dunno what to be more jealous about, not needing to steer, driving a lexus or having access to this tech? Duh! Last of course!
Smart move using higher end cars, adds prestige amongst mainstream thinkers...
In very near future you'd drive downtown, and not willing to pay for parking you'd tell your car to bugger off and pick you up half an hour later. Which it will do on its own. And voila, traffic congestion doubled! ;-)
 
+Sebastian Thrun , how well is it handling snowy conditions? You mentioned that you guys were actively working on that during the +Udacity class, so I was just wondering how the progress has been...
 
(Eyebrows raised) One of things I remember about Lake Tahoe was driving on some of the really hairpin turns on the main road that goes around the southwest corner of the lake. Letting the car handle those (even though from the computer's point of view it's an action with less variables than navigating a multi-lane highway) would make me a bit nervous. :)
 
That is amazing! I just keep thinking about KIT from KnightRider & how what was once fantasy has truly become reality. Very cool!
 
I am looking forward to videos of the whole experience. Raw footage.
 
I can't wait. This is going to save a lot of money and lives from crashes. Keep up the good work. I'm looking forward to taking your udacity class soon.
 
Hybrid cars are a bad idea. Not only are you polluting the environment with fossil fuels from your car exhaust, you're placing extra strain on coal and oil power stations, which means even more pollution :-p
 
This photo is definitely from a Google glass. The camera is positioned next to the right eye which is the point from where the photo has been taken

 
Thanks for your amazing job, people like you inspire us to get involved in science.
 
I was wondering if all the lexus SUVs I have been seeing were Google's fleet. I noticed they had the same scanning laser rangefinder as your prius'.
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