The Google Self-Driving Car is a prototype vehicle designed to take a person who cannot drive where they want to go, with no driving required, at the push of a button. This is designed to be used by the aging or visually impaired persons who would otherwise not be able to drive, for independent, safe transportation.
It is designed to navigate safely through city streets. Features include:
- The car processes both map and sensor information to determine where it is in the world. The car knows what street it's on and which lane it's in.
- Sensors help detect objects around the car. The software classifies objects based on their size, shape, and movement pattern.
- The software predicts what all the objects around us might do next. For instance, it predicts that a cyclist will ride by and a pedestrian will cross the street.
- The software then chooses a safe speed and trajectory for the car. For instance, the car would nudge away from the cyclist, then slows down to yield to the pedestrian.