Google wants to make self-driving cars a real option. The tech giant’s car recently test-drove on Virginia highways. Virginia is the latest state to try Google’s self-driving car project. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute plans to oversee everything. For a vehicle to qualify for licensing, the car must prove to be safe by going through a series of tests created by VTTI.
Self-driving cars and safety
Myra Blanco (VTTI’s director) added that a human has to be in the car during all tests in case something goes wrong. This decision is crucial even for cars that successfully passed initial tests. Testing will likely take several months before automated vehicles are allowed to go live in Virginia.
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The cars are limited to specific areas. Drivers who want to get a closer look at the cars will have to trace the vehicle on U.S. 29 and 50. They will also have to look for the vehicle on Interstates 66, 95, and 495.
The overall public response is mixed. Some people think the project is a good move, but other folks are afraid it will increase the rate of accidents. So far, the list of states and territories to allow Google to test out their roads with self-driving cars include Washington D.C., Nevada, California, Florida and Michigan. State representatives who opted to join the project hope to see autonomous vehicles on the road and possibly replace human-driven cars one day.
The future of Google’s self-driving cars
Google’s autonomous cars seem more reliable than human-driven cars, at least on some occasions. However, authorities are still taking everything seriously and want human drivers in the self-driving cars to ensure safety.
The self-driving car has been in Google’s pipeline for years. The tech giant has also received plenty of encouraging responses from United States leaders and citizens. Self-driving cars could one day prove to be one of the most innovative products of our time.