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Google's self-driving vehicle must be able to adapt to weird scenarios

Oh, how humans complicate driving

By: Michael Hatamoto from Jul 27, 2015 @ 14:25 CDT

Google is racking up test miles with its self-driving vehicles, and while accidents have occurred, the company is paying special attention to driving on surface streets.


During a speech at the Automated Vehicle Symposium, Google director of self-driving vehicles, Chris Urmson, discussed some of the most unique experiences Google self-driving vehicles have faced. One scenario involved a duck running across the road, while a lady in an electric-powered wheelchair chased the duck around.

"It doesn't matter how long you gave me, I never would have come up with that scenario. There are no rules. The DMV has nothing in its handbook," Urmson said. It's a unique challenge, as the Google self-driving vehicle must be able to identify that "this is weird... I'm just going to chill out here and let that all play out."

Even though the Google self-driving vehicle hasn't been at fault in any of its auto collisions, trying to convince humans that autonomous driving is safer will remain a challenge.

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