Google has announced its self-driving cars are scheduled for testing on public roads this summer.
Although Google did not disclose exact dates, it did say that vehicles will be put to tests on roads of Mountain View, California, where the search giant is based. Until now, the self-driving vehicles have only driven on test tracks and have not mixed with real-life traffic.
According to Google, in order to prepare the vehicles for their public debut, the cars had been put through a series of demanding reliability and durability tests. Each vehicle has been clocking up thousands of miles each week on the test tracks – some of which resemble Californian highways and streets. Google’s cars will use the same software fitted to its fleet of self-driving Lexus RX450h SUVs.
Car project director Chris Urmson disclosed in a blog post that the fleet of self-driving cars will feature a detachable steering wheel as well as an accelerator and brake pedal.
Urmson stated that the on road activity of the vehicles will be constantly supervised by safety drivers. Furthermore, in order to avoid any undesired incidents, the vehicle’s speed will be capped at a maximum capacity of 25 mph.
Google claims its cars will “transform mobility for millions of people” by easing congestion and enabling people who can’t drive to get around.
Recently, Google revealed its self-driving cars have met with 11 minor traffic accidents since the technology was put into trial six years ago.
However, the search giant stressed that the minor accidents, which did not cause any injuries, were the result of human error.