We could see self-driving cars on the road by 2020, Re/code reports. Google’s head of the project, Chris Urmson, said at a TED conference in Vancouver that the company plans to launch the technology far sooner than a lot of people expected.
Urmson told the audience that his 11-year-old son could be eligible to get a driver’s licence in four and-a-half years — but hopes he won’t need one, because Google’s automated vehicles will be widely available on the mainstream market.
He added that his team “are committed” to making self-driving technology a reality within five years. As 9to5Google points out, 2020 is a familiar date: It’s the same year Apple is rumoured to be bringing out its own driverless car.
Re/Code writes that Urmson also touched on how Google’s venture will benefit road users. He told the conference that drivers will be assisted to help reduce accidents, and make travel far easier and more efficient.
If Google’s plans do work out, it means we’ll see driverless technology without any steering wheel whatsoever. The company had initially started research with one, so that drivers could take over if need be, but the current prototype is completely operational on its own. 9to5Google reports that the company is racking up three million test miles a day using simulators, and is also trialling the vehicles on roads.
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