The fleet of Google self-driving electric cars currently in use in the neighbourhood of it’s headquartering in Mountain View, California will be expanded. One reason could be the fact that these self-driving electric cars have been getting about 10,000 miles in driving in a week. Another reason could be the start of new tests in other regions with bad weather, rougher traffic or varied terrain.
Google has been tested six years its software and hardware to perform autonomous driven on Toyota Prius, Audi TT and Lexus RS450h and now is building its own prototype from the scratch. The car is built by Roush automotive supplier and will run with a speed below 25 mph (40 km/h) only on roads mapped by Google. The fleet will have 25 electric cars from the beginning and later to be expanded to no more than 100 electric cars.
Their goal is to take advantage of the technology they’ve developed being a partner with an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) not to become a large scale automotive manufacturer. So they want to see their self-driving electric cars for sale in just 5 years while other automakers as Audi or Mercedes-Benz scheduled this next 10-15 years.
Probably they need to refresh frequently their Street View application and need a higher fleet of self-driving electric cars that will lower their costs. Who knows?
Anyway their self-driving electric car has a ton of expensive hardware on it – radar, lidar, 360-degree cameras sitting on a tripod on the roof and looks like the experiment is still ongoing. I am wondering how will manage Google the software for a double parking, how will choose which parking spot the car will take, or how will handle the very “human” problems of giving way for others – cars, bicycles or pedestrians?
For sure the models for the algorithms will be crammed with real-life models.