Driver Knowledge Tests

After 700,000 miles, Google’s self-driving cars are smarter than humans

With over 700,000 miles (1.13 million kilometres) of test driving on the roads around Mountain View, California, Google’s autonomous car is not intelligent enough to recognise a cyclist’s hand signal and to navigate through roadworks.

While it’s fairly straightforward for a car to navigate motorways, urban areas have many more signs, vehicles travelling in the opposite direction, pedestrians, and more.

The video below shows how the car’s software analyses its surroundings, monitoring hundreds of different objects at once, including pedestrians and cyclists. The software never gets tired and is always monitoring the road, unlike humans who get distracted and want to change the radio.

While Google says there’s still a good deal of work to do, over a million kilometres of accident-free autonomous driving is a fantastic accomplishment.

Darren is an expert on driving and transport, and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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