The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles announced Monday that it gave Google the first US license to test driverless cars. The era of cars driving themselves on the street is about to start. According to the latest tests in Las Vegas and Carson City, the car is safe enough, probably safer than if it was driven by a person.
Google already requested licenses for 3 vehicles, in which they’ll be testing their laser radar technology.
How does this work?
Well, to make long things short, the basics of this are a laser radar mounted on the roof and in the grill of the car to detect pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles, then a virtual buffer zone is created around the obstacles so they can be avoid by the self driving car. The driver (yes, there must be one on board, in fact Nevada required 2 people on board all the time during test phases) can always hit the brakes and take control of the car in case something goes wrong at anytime.
According to DMV Director Bruce Marlow:
It gets honked at more often because it’s being safe. (…) They’re designed to avoid distracted driving. When you’re on the Strip and there’s a huge truck with a three scantily clad women on the side, the car only sees a box.
Even though we’re not overly excited by this, it’s probably safer to have these self driving cars out there than some so-called drivers we see on the street everyday.