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 (17)
  • aandrade3
    5/15/2014 - 04:56 p.m.

    Who would drive in a car with no driver? Even if the car is controlling the vehicle , why would you want to ride in it? That's just plain stupid! The car could have technology problems you crash then die! It would be cool but it will cause problems!

  • lfserin-Cla
    5/21/2014 - 01:53 p.m.

    I would get into a car with no driver! I have to see it to believe it, because think of all the possibilities of things that can go wrong. I think that many people would probably agree with me. But still best of luck it the companies that are trying to create something this big. It must take alot of time and effort. I hope one day you succeed.

  • AlejandroR-Gar
    5/22/2014 - 01:05 p.m.

    NO because what if he crashed they would think you were driving

  • bears51
    9/05/2014 - 12:48 p.m.

    It would be nice to have a self driving car because then you can just sit back kick your feet up and relax,also you don't have to even pay attention to where you are going so if you have a entertainment system you can just sit in the back and watch a movie with your family instead of sitting in the driver seat for hours on long drive,but you have to deal with maintenance on the car like oil,gas,and lights.The only thing is it cannot change lanes and turns on red lights,and can't drive in rain or fog all because it drives by using sensors.

  • mooseloose50
    9/09/2014 - 11:50 a.m.

    That is really cool that there could be a car that drives it self. When I turn sixteen I will ask for a car like that, and hopefully I will get it. When there are sensors that smart then every car should be like that. My Dad works for toyota, and he told me that they will be working on a car that drives itself someday so I got real exited. Google is a very smart company and I think that they can do it! Those cars seem so advanced that they are impossible to drive so I think it will be awesome. You can do it google!

  • peytonnelson-bak
    9/29/2015 - 06:57 p.m.

    If I had a car I would have this type of car so I can sleep

  • coley-tar
    5/04/2016 - 03:16 p.m.

    is this true the car would be all over the place person or no person

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