Google Tests New Driverless Cars

By Anabella T. 

Earlier this month, a driverless car was spotted in Mountain View, California. This car was designed and made by Google. Google has been testing robot cars since 2009. 
  
If you don’t know what a driverless car is, it is a car that is capable of driving itself. It does not need to be directed or told what to do by a human. The way these cars operate is by using sensors and cameras to “see” objects around them, including other cars, traffic lights, and people. A computer located in the car uses the data collected by the sensors to control the car. 
Are you wondering what the cars look like? The cars are partly made of soft foam and have enough room for only two people. It sort of looks like a Volkswagon Bug or Prius. It doesn’t run on gas, but instead is powered by an electric battery. Some of the test cars have no steering wheel, and no gas or brake pedals. Instead, they have a button to start and another to stop the vehicle in an emergency.

Google’s cars have driven more than 1.3 million miles and have only been in 17 minor accidents. Most of the accidents were caused by human drivers. With regular cars, over 90 percent of car accidents are caused by driver mistakes according to the Department of Transportation. Google’s cars are a safer alternative because they can’t get angry, tired, or distracted. 

Workers at Google say that these special cars might be released in 2019. Other automakers, including Ford, Toyota, and are testing their own automated cars. It is even rumored that Apple is designing a driverless car of their own. 

Google even thinks that one day kids could “drive” themselves to school in driverless cars. 

Information was obtained from Scholastic News article, “No Driver Required.” Image obtained from Dallas News.

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