Future Rides: The Google Car

What Is the Google Car, and Why Is It Important?
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What Is the Google Car, and Why Is It Important?

Google is a technology leader in autonomous transportation, and any Google Car that makes it to market is expected to have the capability of being fully autonomous. They currently have 34 podlike electric prototypes, and 23 Lexus RX450h crossovers equipped for autonomous driving are being tested on public and private roads.

Google touts the autonomous technology as a way to provide safe mobility to people who otherwise could not be mobile, including the visually impaired, elderly, or otherwise physically challenged. Google argues that autonomous vehicles could be safer than those piloted by humans, as 94 percent of accidents in the U.S. involve human error, according to the company.

Nobody outside of Google or its partners knows what the product they bring to market will look like or whether it will even be badged as a Google product. The company recently inked a deal with Chrysler to convert about 100 2017 Pacifica minivans with autonomous technology.

Don’t confuse the Google Autonomous car with the Google Street View fleet that is constantly traversing the world’s roads. The Google Street View fleet uses roof-mounted 360-degree cameras to gather images for Google’s street-level mapping product, but those cars are standard vehicles modified with cameras and computer systems to gather the stream of data.

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