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Google announced today that its self-driving cars have logged over 300,000 miles without a single accident — a step closer to being able to say, “Look Mom, no hands!” without running over your mom.
The company announced the milestone on its blog, saying employees will be able to start taking these cars to and from work without a second researcher in the passenger seat. Up until now, testing has been done in pairs, but those on the self-driving team will start using the cars for short solo tasks such as commuting.
Before we get crazy and start expecting our own robot , Google says it has a couple of things to work on. First off, the cars need to be able to to detect one-off construction signals, a task Google calls “tricky.” The cars will also need to get experience driving on snowy terrain.
Recently Google received a license from the state of Nevada to “drive” its autonomous cars on Nevada roads. The state approved regulations for self-driving vehicles in February, which included getting the green light (so to speak) from insurance companies, car manufacturers, law enforcement, and other involved parties. In order to drive in Nevada, self-driving cars will have special license plates to alert surrounding drivers to their presence. Autonomous cars being tested with have a red infinity logo and those owned by civilians will have a green infinity logo. This green logo, of course, will only come into existence when self-driving cars are being manufactured for the public.
Self-driving car photo via Zack Sheppard/Flickr