Menlo, Park (CA) – If you happen to see a small, yet rapid vehicle around Virginia’s roads don’t worry as Google’s fully autonomous cars get test-driven on Virginia’s highways. The community has followed in the footsteps of other U.S. states and has put 70 miles of highway to the disposition of the search giant.
Google’s fully autonomous cars get test-driven on Virginia’s highways in the following period, as the company has officially stated in a recent press release. The experiment is now possible thanks to the more permissive driving regulations that Virginia has adopted in relation to the company’s fully autonomous cars.
There aren’t many states that have agreed to take part in the study that Google is currently conducting. Only California, Nevada, Michigan, Florida and Washington, D.C. have given permission to developers to test drive the self-driven prototype on their highways. As of today, 70 more miles have been added to the itineraries that Google’s car can follow.
Virginia has made the announcement official during this week’s edition of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America Conference in Pittsburgh. The decision was adopted as Virginia wants to offer its support to Google’s ambitious plans. Moreover, states representatives believe self-driven cars could turn out extremely effective in the future and they could eventually replace traditional and less safe vehicles.
Even so, the fully autonomous car is now undergoing numerous tests to prove its efficiency. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has taken upon itself the responsibility of supervising the car’s on-road behavior.
Only certain areas have been included in the itinerary of the autonomous cars. Drivers, who hope they can get a closer look at the futuristic prototype, will have to trace the small vehicle on Interstates 95, 495 and 66, as well as on U.S. 29 and U.S. 50.
Google’s self-driven car has proven itself more reliable than traditional cars on numerous occasions. However, authorities want to make sure that the new technology will not lead to fatal incidents on the road; therefore, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute requested developers to carry out the tests in the presence of a human driver. The supervisor will stay behind the wheel at all times and will intervene if the system is about to make a mistake.
The driverless technology that Google has been developing in the past years has triggered favorable responses on behalf of U.S. citizens and leaders. The technology has been welcomed by numerous tests, which have agreed to operate modifications within their road regulations in order to enable the developers to test the driverless prototype.
The autonomous vehicle has been involved in only six on road incidents since it was first tested four years ago. If the recent tests prove the prototype can be programmed and driven by computers, the software might be added to other car brands, as well. Google plans to make its self-driven cars available to the public by 2020.
Image Source: Daily Mail
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