Google's Driverless Cars

Google’s Driverless Cars Not Ready For Rain Or Snow, Says Insider

As you may know, Google has been a big game player when it comes to driverless car technology. The search engine giant has been testing autonomous technology in mass-production cars. Those cars can often get spotted in the streets of San Francisco.

Google's Driverless Cars

Google are also planning to sell their own driverless cars soon. Dubbed “robo-taxis,” the idea that they wanted to create their own vehicles first surfaced back in 2013.

Recently a patent got approved for Google to use advertising-supported transport services. The robo-taxi depicted above got included as part of that patent.

It makes sense for Google to produce their own vehicles, rather than creating technology for existing cars. The self-driving prototypes seen in San Francisco cost a lot of money to maintain. There are ten cars in use, and each have equipment worth over $150,000 in them.

From a revenue point of view, Google stands to make more money by charging for advertising in their own robo-taxis. It’s a great and innovative way to make money, except that there are a few flaws with the robo-taxis.

Unable to cope with rain and snow

Most countries have a mixture of weather each year, and few countries boast year-round sunshine.

Recent news reports have surfaced about Google’s robo-taxi prototype. A supposed Google insider has claimed the robo-taxi finds it challenging when it is raining or snowing!

That’s a big problem if they want to sell the robo-taxi idea to large corporations around the world.

It’s a problem shared with the mass-produced cars that are using the technology Google hopes to use in its robo-taxis. Although the existing cars have clocked up over 700,000 miles, they seldom get taken out when it’s raining or snowing.

Chris Urmson is Google’s director of the “car team.” He says the detection technology is still in its infancy. At the moment, it isn’t good enough to detect certain objects in different weather conditions.

Pothole? What pothole?

MIT Technology Review said the technology is poor at dodging potholes and other obstacles on the road. That’s according to information from Motorline Direct. Most roads on the planet are far from perfect. It is likely Google’s driverless cars will still need human intervention in their present forms.

Too much reliance on maps

One of the things that Google is famous for is its mapping systems. They are quite superior and get used by a plethora of individuals and organizations around the world.

Relying on this world-class maps for navigation is a good idea. But what is not such a good idea is relying on them too much. That is another challenge Google have to overcome with their self-driving cars.

For instance, if a road gets closed without warning, Google’s driverless cars need to calculate a new route on the fly. That isn’t always an easy task for satellite navigation. Especially if diversions take cars through the wrong way of one-way streets!

What are your thoughts on Google’s driverless car technology? Let us know by posting up a comment below!