Google’s Driverless Cars Feel the Need for Speed (Cause It’s Safer!)By: Josh Wolford - August 20, 2014
Try using this excuse the next time you get pulled over for speeding.
According to Google, exceeding the speed limit is actually safer than strictly obeying the law in some circumstances. For this reason, the company’s autonomous vehicles are allowed to break the law, ever so slightly, if the situation warrants it.
Dmitri Dolgov, the lead software engineer on Google’s driverless car project, says that speeding is safer than sticking to the speed limit when all the cars around you are going much faster.
Of course. That’s called the little old lady driving on the interstate theorem.
Because of this, Dolgov says that Google’s driverless cars are programmed to go 10 mph over the speed limit “when traffic conditions warrant,” according to Reuters.
Google’s autonomous cars doing 55 in a 45 shouldn’t worry you. What could worry you is how Google’s autonomous cars will react when other cars, you know, driven by dumb, fallible humans, make mistakes. The time is fast approaching, too. Driverless cars should hit UK roads in January of next year. Google is already testing them all across Mountain View in the US, and is hoping to start operating them in other states (pending approval of course) soon.
Hearts and minds will need to be won, however, as about half of Americans are still a bit wary of robot cars on the road.