Google’s Self-Driving Car About to Hit Public Roads

By Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch – Self-driving cars, once a product of science-fiction, are about to become a reality. Google will roll out a handful of prototype electric cars on the streets of Mountain View, California, where the company’s headquarters are based. Google’s self-driving car project director Chris Urmson explained in a blog post that the cars will be supervised by safety drivers and buzz around neighborhoods at a top speed of 25 MPH. The cars will also be outfitted with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal and brake pedal that allows the drivers to take over driving if needed. The new prototypes will be powered by the same software as the company’s existing fleet of self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs, which have logged nearly a million autonomous miles on the roads. Although it might take some time before we can actually buy one, the positive environmental impacts of Google’s cars could be big...

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Delphi’s Self-Driving Car Completes US Coast-to-Coast Trip

By Stu Robarts, Gizmag – British-based auto-firm Delphi has completed a journey from San Francisco to New York with its self-driving car. The trip, announced in March, covered nearly 3,400 miles (5,500 km) and took nine days. Delphi says it is the first US coast-to-coast trip ever taken by an automated vehicle. Delphi’s Roadrunner car set of with a group of engineers from Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay on March 22. The subsequent journey took it through 15 states and the District of Columbia. The Roadrunner was faced with a wide variety of driving situations to navigate during the trip, including traffic circles, construction zones, bridges, tunnels, aggressive drivers and differing weather conditions. Although an engineer was in the driving seat ready to take control if needed, Delphi says the car undertook 99 percent of the drive in fully automated mode. The vehicle is equipped with numerous...

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