We’ve known for a while now that Google has been tinkering with the idea of a driverless car through technology. However, a recent report from the Wall Street Journal indicates that not only was Google trying to make that technology a reality, but it was looking to build its very own self-driving cars as well.
Back in 2009, Google began testing out driverless car technology which would allow vehicles to navigate routes on its own with help from lasers, cameras, and other cutting-edge tech. While this technology isn’t readily available to the public (yet), Google has quietly been setting everything into motion. Late last month, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that “creates a legal framework and safety standards for autonomous vehicles on [California] state roads and highways.” In other words, autonomous vehicles are now street-legal in California, and we expect Google to take full advantage of this new ruling before expanding into other states. Florida and Nevada are already on board with this and have made it legal there as well. However, the bill itself is a little superfluous as the Golden State doesn’t actually specify if a vehicle physically needs a driver to control the vehicle. Google’s driverless cars are equipped with cutting edge technology but also has a real life human on board for emergency measures as a precaution too.
There’s still a lot unknowns that veil Google’s autonomous car intentions including if the company has shelved its plans to build the cars itself. It’s not uncommon for Google to work on wacky side projects (computerized glasses anyone?) but the company has been at the driverless car thing for quite some time now.
Automotive.com’s take: It’s only a matter of time before autonomous cars go on sale. How soon that actually happens depends on a few different variables. We wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Google was leading that charge but starting up your own automaker is not easy task. Just look at Fisker and Tesla.
Source: Wall Street Journal