The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Hmmm Like Panda and Penguin, Google's Driverless Cars Have Real Problems


PHOTO

SEE ALSO: Google Car News Archive

Editors Note: Ok so just 43.3% of driving takes place in rain and snow, so no problem using Google's car, unless you are affected by the problem.


WASHINGTON DC - September 3, 2014; The AIADA newsletter recently reported that it seems that Google may be facing a bumpier ride with self-driving cars than initially expected.

According to Business Insider, an MIT Technology Review report released last week said that the cars rely so much on maps and detailed data that they can't drive themselves around 99 percent of the USA.

Although the vehicles have already driven 700,000 miles safely, there is clearly still a lot of testing still to do. The cars have yet to drive in snowy conditions and it's not yet safe to drive in heavy rain either.

Many of the problems arise from how good the detection technology is on the car and how well it is able to discriminate between different objects in view and between different weather conditions. The vehicle's video cameras can detect the blink of a traffic light, but Google is still working on trying make sure the cameras aren't blinded by sunlight.

There are also countless other unexpected obstacles the cars may face — potholes, pedestrians running on roads, and parking. Google is doing what it can to address these problems. When a Google car encounters new street signs and lights, it sends feedback to update the mapping software.