Computerised driver free cars have been introduced on to our roads by many different business sectors, all wanting to be the first to provide safer vehicles that people will be able to enjoy.
Google, the internet search engine, have also invested in this area, and have two autonomous vehicles, the Prius and Lexus models. They believe that they can be operated to drive safer than cars driven by human drivers, and that they will keep a safe distance from other vehicles, and brake sharper to avoid collisions or accidents.
At a Robotics Conference in California, USA, the leader of the Google Project, Chris Urmson, has been quoted as saying that “We’re spending less time in near collision states. Our car is driving more smoothly and more safely than our trained professional drivers.”
This was based on research carried out in two American states, California and Nevada. The two studies showed that human drivers were not as safe behind the wheel on the public roads used, and also braked sharply, as they were accelerating more than when the car was in autonomous mode. The software used also helped the car to keep a safer distance from other vehicles on the road than the human driven models could.
Google have been making tests with their cars on the public roads for the past three years, ensuring there is always a driver in the car, in case they are needed to take control. They are now looking at the best ways to market them, and have plans to add a dashboard that gives the driver better knowledge of the car, and when best to take control of it.