Chris Urmson, the head of Google’s robot car project, made some impressive claims about the company’s autonomous vehicles at a robotics conference in Silicon Valley on Friday. He told attendees the cars are safer than those driven by humans, based on thousands of hours of test driving in California and Nevada.
“We’re spending less time in near-collision states,” he said. “Our car is driving more smoothly and more safely than our trained professional drivers.”
The professionally trained drivers used as a control during Google’s experiments were found to speed up and slow down more abruptly than their autonomous counterparts. Robots also tended to maintain safer distances from the vehicles ahead of them, according to the data. Read the rest of this entry »