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  • So when you look at transportation today, it's really amazing. You get from A to B just

  • so quickly compared to a hundred years ago. But, the cost of that, in the US, 33,000 people

  • are killed every year. To put that in perspective, it's the leading cause of death for people

  • between the ages of 4 and 34. It's more dangerous than cancer, it's more dangerous than gun

  • violence. When you look worldwide, the number's even more scary. It's 1.2 million people killed

  • every year. 90 plus percent of that is human error. And so if we can bring in technology

  • that's always paying attention, that can see what's going on around it, that never gets

  • distracted, this is a huge opportunity. This is one of these 10x kind of opportunities

  • to save lives and make the world a better place.

  • People have been thinking about self-driving cars basically since we've had cars. And then

  • along came the DARPA Grand Challenges in the early 2000s. I and a number of folks on the

  • team had taken part in those, and they were really exciting. They were kind of like the

  • Woodstock for Robotics. And then in 2008, Sebastian Thrun, who was at Google, started

  • talk with some of the leadership here and started to think about the fact that self-driving

  • cars is really a computer science problem. And it's this huge computer science problem

  • that will have a big impact on the world, and thus it's exactly the kind of problem

  • that Google likes to solve. And when we kicked off the project, the question was, is this

  • even possible? Could you actually have cars that drive themselves out on the road? And

  • so we set for ourselves two audacious goals. One was to drive 100,000 miles on public roads.

  • To put that in perspective, this is an order of magnitude more than anyone had ever driven

  • before. And then the other was to drive 1,000 miles of really interesting places.

  • After about a year and a half, we were actually able to complete that challenge, and that

  • told us we actually had technology that could work. Today, one of the things we're most

  • focused on is making the car drive naturally. We want the car to be on the road, we want

  • it to have all the aspects of the best human drivers, we want it to be courteous, we want

  • it to be defensive, but we want it to drive in a way that you can expect how it will behave

  • on the road because that makes you safe around it as another driver.

  • If you go back to the Darpa Challenges, the vehicles driving round really were robots.

  • They would accelerate hard, they would break hard. With our vehicles today, they have to

  • be good for our occupants, they have to be nice and smooth and safe, and that has to

  • be very naturalistic. As a human, it's really easy to get uncomfortable. You've probably

  • experienced this when somebody else drives for you, and you sit in the passenger seat

  • and they hit the brakes late or they hit the brakes too early, and you get a little tense

  • about that. The other is from the outside of the car, we want it to feel natural for

  • the other drivers because when it's natural it's safe. And so our vehicles move very smoothly

  • on the road, they pay attention, and if anything they're more courteous and more defensive

  • drivers than normal drivers.

  • When self-driving cars are a reality, it's going to be amazing. Imagine never losing

  • someone to a traffic accident again. Imagine a world where you get in your car, it takes

  • you where you wanna go, and then you get out. And you don't have to search for parking,

  • you just leave it, and it goes off and helps someone else get where they're going. Imagine

  • cities where parking garages aren't there, where that land has been turned into into

  • homes or into parks, it's just gonna be amazing. It's gonna be an exciting place.

So when you look at transportation today, it's really amazing. You get from A to B just

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A2 BEG drive driving darpa road car safe

Behind the Google Self Driving Car Project

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    Johnson   posted on 2017/07/09
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