Google’s self-driving cars may just be safer when they’re steering themselves than when they’ve got a real human being at the wheel, according to new data gathered by Google itself.
Leader of Google’s autonomous car project, Chris Urmson, made these lofty claims last week at a robotics conference being held in Santa Clara, California. These statements don’t come without any foundation, though, but from data gathered over the Google vehicles’ thousands of miles logged being tested in California and Nevada.
The analysis seemed to show that Google’s cars accelerated and braked more smoothly when being driven by the in-built autonomous system than when humans were responsible. Another of the observations seemed to show that the automated cars were better at maintaining safe, consistent distance between themselves and vehicles ahead of them.
Even though Google is very happy to blow its horn (pardon the pun) about the progress being made by the automatic car project, human use is not being totally forgotten. New dashboard displays will allow drivers to monitor vehicle performance, as well as giving warnings when it would be best for a human driver to take over.