Google is targeting 2017 for the public release of its driverless cars. Apparently, the company is confident that its 700,000 miles-worth of successful road tests indicate that the car is ready to hit real highways, Inferse reported.
Despite the results of the tests, there are still numerous obstacles that the driverless car must go through before being considered as road-worthy.
These include new California traffic regulations regarding a human's presence in driverless cars, the problem with the vehicle's mapping system and the possibility of using the car for criminal activities as pointed out by the FBI.
But aside from these, there are other technical problems that Google must iron out before unveiling the driverless car to the public.
The first is using the car in various weather conditions. Although Google's vehicle has already driven for over 700,000 miles, this was done in favorable, sunny conditions. The company has not yet navigated the car through snowy, icy, wet and dust storm-ridden roads, according to PC Tech Mag.
Another issue with the car is that it is having a hard time detecting obstacles on the road. For instance, it cannot differentiate between a sheet of paper and a rock. Similarly, it reportedly cannot detect potholes or worse, open manholes, 9to5google reported.
Obviously, these can cause potential damages to the car itself and most importantly, to other vehicles on the road.
Like the problem with its sensor, the car cannot distinguish between police officers and regular pedestrians.
Although the driverless sedan is equipped with a sensor that causes it to automatically stop once pedestrians cross the street, it might not know what to do once a police officer hails it and asks it to pull over on the side of the road.
Hopefully, Google will be able to fix all the glitches, develop the sensors and generally improve the car's road-worthiness before it makes its public debut.
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