Google self-driving prototype cars hit public roads

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Google said on Thursday that its self-driving prototype cars have taken to streets in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View where it has its headquarters.

The move comes after Google’s internal testing of the bubble-shaped vehicle over the past year and more extensive experience with technology adapted for existing cars.

“We want to understand what it really means to have self-driving vehicles in the world — both how people in the community perceive and interact with them, and what the practical realities are for us in operating and maintaining them,” Google said in a released statement.

Prototype cars built from the ground up to get around safely without human drivers join Google’s fleet of Lexus vehicles augmented with sensors and other computing gadgetry to manage autonomously on roads.

The prototypes will have “safety drivers” who can take over using manual controls if needed, according to Google.

“We’ve had 20-plus Lexus vehicles driving on Mountain View city streets for the last few years, but the arrival of our new self-driving vehicle prototypes marks the start of a new phase of our project,” Google said.

The Google car uses the same technology as its fleet of Lexus SUVs which has logged some 1.6 million kilometers (one million miles).

In Google’s home town of Mountain View, speeds will be limited to 40 kilometers (25 miles) per hour “and during this next phase of our project we’ll have safety drivers aboard with a removable steering wheel, accelerator pedal, and brake pedal that allow them to take over driving if needed,” according to the head of the project.

Google has defended the safety record of its self-driving cars, saying that they were not at fault in any of the dozen or so accidents they have been involved in. Most of the collisions involved self-driving cars being hit in the rear by vehicles driven by people, according to the Internet titan.

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  • Anonymous

    What a story…it reveals the strength that is within each of us and with the right attitude we surely can overcome every situation. I only wish Minneh knew her strength early enough her daughter would have been saved. March on Minneh your mission is worth every effort

    • Minneh Kamau Bushby.

      Thanks.  My daughter died of a penicillin reaction.  She was never tested for HIV for the simple reason that even if we knew, there was nothing being done.  For that matter, we will never know and God’s plan is not man’s plan.  I appreciate your empathy.

  • Mchael Karimi

    Great woman Minneh is. An inspiration to many

  • Minneh Kamau Bushby.

    Thanks Njuki and Karongo for a job well done.  You really inspire to continue doing what I do.  Nicely done ladies. May God bless you mightly.

  • Muthinja

    hi Rafiki nice to hear you made it back there, say hi to mom n daddy. 

  • waitherero mwangi

    Wow! you are a strong woman, soldier on and never give up. God will always be on your side. be blessed.

  • Bobiekaylin

    I like your courage and may you be of impact as you educate the youngstars all the best

  • minneh I am happy you saw your family . We miss you and Ryan alot. See you soon Michelle and Tim

  • Wow, just wonderful Minneh, what a powerful message you have. I am glad that you had the opportunity to go home and educate. Just wonderful.

  • Winnie waiganjo

    Minneh am really proud of who you became ,Catherine would have been proud of you..God bless you..

    • Minneh Kamau Bushby.

      Thanks Winnie.  Missed you.  I called and left a message on your cell.  I will NEVER forget Cathy.  May she rest in peace.  I love you.

  • Bosire

    Minneh u know you have been an inspiration to many of us. Did you lose my number?. Call me asap.

    • Minneh Kamau Bushby.

      Nitapiga

  • D.

    Yay Minne!

  • Ssande

    Suzzy!  Am proud of your courage mummy. Never give up!. let your candle light and shine to others. God Bless

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