Google is shifting its self-driving car program up a gear, after it announced that it will begin testing autonomous vehicles on public roads in Mountain View this summer.
The company, which this week revealed that its fleet has experienced just 11 accidents in six years of tests (each of which it put down to human drivers), now has the green-light to take things further. The self-piloted vehicles will be limited to a maximum speed of 25 miles/hour, and each will include a safety driver, who can take over at any point via the on-board wheel, brake and accelerator.
Google said its fleet has logged nearly a million miles of cumulative driving within its test facilities — the program has ramped up to around 10,000 miles per week, it said — which means the vehicles “have lots of experience to draw on.” How much exactly? Google said around 75 years of human driving experience.
“In the coming years, we’d like to run small pilot programs with our prototypes to learn what people would like to do with vehicles like this,” Google added.
This isn’t a full rollout yet, but, if you’re in Mountain View, get ready to embrace robotic commuters on a more regular basis.