Google Unveils Self-Driving Car Effort

Search engine giant Google said over the weekend that the firm has been developing technology for self driving cars, driving automated cars across California, including Los Angeles and Santa Monica. According to Google, it has hired what it says were some of the very best engineers from the DARPA Grand Challenge, DARPA's robotic vehicle competition, and applied them to develop its own, automated cars. Google said the cars have driven from Google's Mountain View campus to its Santa Monica office, on Hollywood Boulevard, and up and down the Pacific Coast Highway, among other areas, logging over 140,000 miles. Google did not say how it expects to apply the technology, but did say it hired at least two of the engineers from winning teams of DARPA's Grand Challenge, including the technical team leader from Carnegie Mellon University on the 2007 Urban Challenge winning team, and the software lead for Stanford's team in the 2005 Grand Challenge. Google said the goal of its project is to help prevent traffic accidents, free up people's time, and reduce carbon emissions, by "fundamentally changing" car use.


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