We all know Google’s self-driving car drives itself. But did we know two Google employees were always on watch whenever these cars were sent out?
At a re/code conference, Google co-founder Sergey Brin unveiled what is the first-ever self-driving car entirely designed by Google. Brin hopes that there will be 100 more prototypes by the end of the year and soon they will be able to form a partnership with their “friends”, possibly hinting at a commercial release.
However, a re/code article detailing the new cars pointed out that Google’s previous self-driving cars haven’t quite been on their own. While a recent video from Google shows how precise and careful Google’s technology is when the car is out in the streets, re/code says that every time a self-driving car is cruising out there, two Google employees carefully monitor the movement of the car as they remain ready to take control of the car in case of a situation.
The self-driving cars that Google has made so far by modifying commercially available vehicles have racked up a total of 700,000 miles without any major accident. This little bit of information that they are always on watch by Google employees when they are out reveals that there might have been occasions when a self-driving car was to made a wrong turn (our word for making an accident), but they were taken over and brought under control by the human controllers behind a monitor.
Still, the video we’ve already seen shows us that Google’s technology is quite mature. The new self-driving cars don’t have that human backup, so when they hit the streets, they are on their own. They don’t have the kill switch and manual override like the old self-driving cars. They don’t even have steering wheels, brake or accelerating pedals. It’s no wonder Google must be feeling heavily confident with its software running the self-driving car to have removed those things from the car.
We look forward to seeing how well this cute-looking cars perform when they are sent out in the streets.