Would you ride in a car with no driver? Children look inside the self-driving car at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California (AP photos/Getty Images)
Would you ride in a car with no driver?
Lexile

Google is trying to make a self-driving car.

Despite progress over the past year, the cars have plenty of learning to do. Google hopes to get the technology to the public in 2017. Others believe it's more likely to take until 2025.

Google's self-driving cars already can drive on freeways. Human drivers would be expected to take control if the computer fails. Eventually, Google says, there would be no need for a driver. Passengers could read, daydream or sleep. They could even work while the car drives.

But for now, Google is focused on the common tasks of city driving.

To deal with people on bikes, engineers have taught the software to predict what people on bikes are likely to do. The software plots the car's path accordingly. Then it reacts if something unexpected happens.

While the car knows to stop, knowing when to start again is still a challenge. This is partly because the cars are programmed to drive defensively. At a four-way stop, Google's cars have been known to wait in place as other cars edge out into the intersection.

The cars still need human help with other problems. Among them, understanding the gestures that drivers give one another to signal it's OK to merge or change lanes, turning right on red and driving in rain or fog. These tasks requires smarter sensors.

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COMMENTS (18)
  • Leah567
    4/30/2014 - 04:48 p.m.

    I wonder if that will actually work out for them?

  • Agalvan20
    5/01/2014 - 02:44 p.m.

    I would probably not because a little kid could type the coordinates and then the next thing you are in the bottom of the ocean dead so i'm probably not going to ride one. And i'm going to die soon because that care is going to come out 5 years after my high school graducation.

  • John0724-YYCA
    5/02/2014 - 01:40 a.m.

    It is really going to be a hard to the job because no one could make that car. And it is really going to be a hard job. You got to be really smartto mke this kind of car. I am not that smart so I can notmake that car inmy whole life.

  • alyssa_lover
    5/02/2014 - 12:18 p.m.

    Personally i think that is not safe. What if the system crashed? what about if it takes you to the wrong place?

  • ReeseLin
    5/06/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    Hue would ride in a car with no driver thay are craze!

  • DexterL-ZDE
    5/07/2014 - 03:53 p.m.

    I would not like to ride in a car that drive by it's self because if we happen to get into a car accident me and who ever in the the car with me would get hurt and the company that made the car will lose everything they have.

  • hannah122503
    5/08/2014 - 11:10 a.m.

    I would want to ride in one because i think it would be cool!!!!!

  • mc30police
    5/08/2014 - 02:31 p.m.

    I dont think that they will be able to do this because this would be a big hazard. They would probaly cost a LOT of moeny because they are high tec and they require a driver.

  • RayaC-Gar
    5/13/2014 - 01:13 p.m.

    Wow a self driving car It would be cool to see it and mabey be in it

  • ryleab-Dou
    5/13/2014 - 03:32 p.m.

    No because they would not know where to turn.Or they would not see the stop lights or other cars they would just keep on driving.

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