Tags: Google | car | self-drive | California

Bumpy Ride for Google's Self-Drive Cars

Image: Bumpy Ride for Google's Self-Drive Cars (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Monday, 25 Aug 2014 12:14 PM

By Drew MacKenzie

Google's super-smart car that drives itself and has no steering wheel or gas and brake pedals has hit a roadblock.

The autonomous vehicle must pass strict new testing rules from California's Department of Motor Vehicles, which take effect next month, before getting the go-ahead for test rides on public roads, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The regulations stipulate that a driver must be able to take "immediate physical control" of a vehicle on public roads if needed, which means that the car must have a steering wheel and brake and accelerator pedals, according to Bernard Soriano, who helped to draw up the rules.

But Google, which can test prototypes on private roads or on public roads outside California, said it will adhere to the state's new rule by building a temporary steering-wheel and pedal system that drivers can use during testing.

"With these additions, our safety drivers can test the self-driving features while having the ability to take control of the vehicle if necessary," Google spokeswoman Courtney Hohne said.

To have the autonomous car one day allowed on city streets and highways in the Golden State, Google must first navigate several potential problems, such as insurance coverage and a dubious public.

The sort of car only seen in science fiction movies is a long-term project from the tech company that could eventually surpass the type of technology now being integrated in new vehicles by car manufacturers, such as self-parking and lane-straightening, the Journal said.

Google is building 100 prototypes with top speeds of 25 mph, which will allow for easy handling and reduced damage in crashes. Company executives are hoping that Californians will be driving them in test runs on public roads within a couple of years.
Google is also researching the possibility of using their smart cars as a taxi or courier service, the Journal noted.

Claire Hughes Johnson, an executive in the Google Self-Driving Car Project, said last month in a speech, "What if you all got here today in a self-driving car that dropped you off and then left? So you may not be able to buy one, but you may be able to drive in one in the next five years."

Related Stories:

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Cosmic Puzzle Settled: Comets Give us Shooting Stars

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 22:20 PM

Suspicions that shooting stars come from comet dust, transformed into fiery streaks as they hit Earth's atmosphere, have . . .

Spain: Cervantes Searchers Find Casket With His Initials

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 07:42 AM

Experts searching for the remains of Miguel de Cervantes have found a casket bearing the initials M.C. with bones insi . . .

NASA Spacecraft to Start Sending Photos of Icy Pluto

Monday, 26 Jan 2015 07:34 AM

After a nine-year journey of three billion miles, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is only months away from the planet Plu . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved