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The Google Driverless Car

Table of Contents:

  1. The Google Driverless Car
  2. How should it Work?
  3. How does it Work?

Written By: 

Shalem Pravas


google car

The Lexus RX450h Google driverless car

Driving a car is an art, maybe that’s why the government waits until you’re 18 years old (or 16 in some countries) to give you chance to earn a driver’s license. Not only should you be able to direct the car, but also have a keen sense of safety. Nevertheless, all the rules and regulations enforced to ensure safety fail to eradicate the occurrence of accidents. On a different note, the smaller details like the speed, gear changing, and fuel consumption can affect the environment around you in the form of emissions of gases. When more of fuel is burnt than required, there is more of incomplete combustion of gases causing the emission of gases like carbon monoxide (not to mention that you get lower mileage too). This happens at very low and very high speeds. Therefore driving a car at an optimum condition involves a balance of delicate forces. It requires good understanding and experience of the working of a car. But what if a team of brilliant engineers devised a way to automate this complicated process?       


Fifteen years back, if you had to withdraw cash, you had to travel far to a bank and stand in a line with a slip to withdraw cash. But lately, the same is being done even in remote locations by machines (ATMs – Automated Teller Machines) without any hassle. In the industries, most of the heavy machinery is automated (fully or partially) allowing for more accurate and speedier production. Automation is a growing trend in the present era. It is truly an engineering marvel since it involves a union of the different branches of engineering like computer science, electronics and mechanical to devise this technology. Electronic sensors sense the surroundings and send their response to microcontrollers which are programmed to give a desired response and actuators which actually carry out the response action.

Google’s Project

We know them as the most popular search engine in the World Wide Web. They are much more than that. They pioneer in inspiring innovation in the field of technology which is beyond their time. The google driverless car is a project by google which involves the development of technology to make a car self-dependent. The software that google use to automate cars is known as the “Google Chauffeur”. They do not produce a separate car but install the required equipment onto a regular car. The project is currently being led by google engineer Sebastian Thurin (who is also the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of the google street view) under the aegis of Google X.


                            The Toyota prius and Audi TT Quattro fitted with the google driverless car

Google has equipped a group of ten cars with its tech consisting of three Lexus RX450h, One Audi TT and six Toyota Prius. The tests were conducted with expert drivers in the driver seat and Google’s engineers in the passenger seat. They have driven a great deal of distance in varied topographical locations and traffic densities in the United States of America. The speed limits are stored in the brain of the control systems and the car comes with a manual override which passes on the control to a driver in case of any malfunction. By August 2012, google announced that it had completed 500,000 km of road testing. As of December 2013, four states in the USA have established laws permitting the use of autonomous cars, California, Florida, Nevada and Michigan