• Google Has A Secret Fleet Of Automated Toyota Priuses; 140,000 Miles Logged So Far.

    It all makes sense now.

    At our TechCrunch Disrupt event a couple weeks ago in San Francisco, Google CEO Eric Schmidt took the stage to give an impressive speech across a wide range of topics. But the most interesting thing he had to say what about automobiles. “It’s a bug that cars were invented before computers,” he said. “Your car should drive itself. It just makes sense.”
    Well guess what? Surprise, surprise: Google has been working on a secret project to enable cars to do just that.
    As they’ve revealed on their blog today, Google has developed a technology for cars to drive themselves. And they haven’t done it on a computer, or in some controlled lab, they’ve been out on California roads testing this out. “Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. All in all, our self-driving cars have logged over 140,000 miles. We think this is a first in robotics research,” Google engineer Sebastian Thrun (the brainchild of the project who also heads the Stanford AI lab and co-invented Street View as well) writes.
    Further, The New York Times, which has a bit more, says a total of seven cars have driven 1,000 miles without any human intervention (the 140,000 mile number includes occasional human control, apparently). These cars are a modified version of the Toyota Prius — and there is one Audi TT, as well.
    So how does this work? The automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors, and a laser range finder to locate everything around them (these are mounted on the roof). And, of course, they use Google’s own maps. But the key?

    This is all made possible by Google’s data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by our cars when mapping their terrain.

    Google says it gathered the best engineers from the DARPA Challenges (an autonomous vehicle race that the government puts on) to work on this project. They also note that these cars never drive around unmanned in the interest of safety. A driver is always on hand to take over in case something goes wrong, and an engineer is always on hand in the car to monitor the software. Google also says they’ve notified local police about the project.
    So has it worked? Apparently, yes. There has been one accident so far, but it was when someone else rear-ended one of these Google cars.
    Google notes that 1.2 million people are killed every year in road accidents — they think they can cut this number in half with the tech. It will also cut energy consumption and save people a lot of time.
    I want this yesterday. This is all kinds of awesome.
    But don’t get too excited just yet. “Even the most optimistic predictions put the deployment of the technology more than eight years away,” according to NYT.

    Source: TechCrunch
    Comments 5 Comments
    1. IdolEyes787's Avatar
      IdolEyes787 -
      Sorry I didn't really read the article, it being about google and cars and technology and stuff .

      I found the use of the word Priuses interesting though.

      What Is the Plural of Prius?

      • By Chuck Squatriglia

      This is a question that has perplexed us for some time now. We always assumed it was Prii or maybe Priuses but without being sure, we’ve always avoided using the plural form.
      It seems this question has stumped others as well. Some of the more popular suggestions offered in response to a blog post by Matthew Yglesias of The Atlantic are Prii, Priora and Priuses. Now Jan Freeman, a Boston Globe columnist who also writes for the International Herald Tribune, says she has the answer: Priora.
      Huh? Isn’t that a town in Illinois?
      We kid. Freeman, who had suggested Prioria in a blog post at Brainiac, put the question to Harry Mount. He wrote "Carpe Diem: Put a Little Latin in Your Life," which Freeman describes as "a paean to the joys of Latin," and presumably knows a thing or two about a language we haven’t thought about since high school.
      Mount says Prius is the neuter nominative/accusative singular form of the adjective prior, so the neuter plural is Priora. But Mount says he thinks of cars as feminine, so in that case the plural is Priores.
      We’re glad that’s settled. But we’re still going to avoid using the plural form.
    1. rdtphd's Avatar
      rdtphd -
      “It’s a bug that ass wipe was invented before computers,” he said. “Your ass should wipe itself. It just makes sense.”
    1. brilman's Avatar
      brilman -
      Quote Originally Posted by rdtphd View Post
      he said. “Your ass should wipe itself. It just makes sense.”

      Thats what this is for duh

    1. bobbintb's Avatar
      bobbintb -
      thank god its google working on it and not microsoft...
    1. darkmawl's Avatar
      darkmawl -
      Quote Originally Posted by bobbintb View Post
      thank god its google working on it and not microsoft...
      You car would have needed a reset button in that case