Buckle Up: Google's Self-Driving Cars to Hit the Open Road

Buckle Up: Google's Self-Driving Cars to Hit the Open Road
Image credit: Google

Free Book Preview: Ultimate Guide to Google Ads

Get a glimpse of how Google’s marketing resources and strategies can help you grow your business’s digital reach.
Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
2 min read

Today, self-driving cars are taking another step from 1984-esque daydream to mainstream, everyday, regular reality.  

Starting this summer, Google’s autonomous vehicles will drive on the open roads in Mountain View, Calif., according to an announcement the company released today. Google has already had self-driving cars on the road for a while now, in partnership with Lexus. What’s hitting the public streets for the first time this summer are the vehicles that Google has built from the ground up, specifically for self-driving.

The cars will only be driving around on public roads with a safety driver, who can take over operation of the vehicle in an emergency. Also, the cars will never go more than 25 mph, Google says.

Related: Elon Musk: Human-Driven Cars Might Someday Be Banned

Take a look. It’s for real.

Google’s fleet of more than 20 self-driving cars has been zooming around test tracks for six years already, clocking 1.7 million miles, according to a post from earlier this week, written by Chris Urmson, director of Google’s self-driving car program. Of that 1.7 million miles, the cars have driven more than 1 million of the miles without a driver. Recently, the self-driving fleet has been averaging 10,000 self-driven miles per week, Urmson says.

In the 6 years that Google has been testing its self-driving fleet, the autonomous vehicles have been in 11 accidents. None of those have been the fault of the self-driving cars, according to Google’s own Urmson.

Related: This Is What It's Like to Ride in a Driverless Car

Google is convinced that self-driving cars are safer than ones with humans at-the-wheel. Google points to the statistic that driver error causes 94 percent of crashes, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

As Google brings its test fleet onto the city streets of Mountain View, it will be observing and researching how people interact with the autonomous vehicles as well as how the self-driving car technology manages situations when, say, the address it is supposed to arrive at is blocked or obstructed by traffic.

Related: Driverless Cars Won't Make Roadways Perfectly Safe
More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors are here to help you throughout the entire process of building your franchise organization!
  1. Schedule a FREE one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Choose one of our programs that matches your needs, budget, and timeline
  3. Launch your new franchise organization
Entrepreneur Insider members enjoy exclusive access to business resources for just $5/mo:
  • Premium articles, videos, and webinars
  • An ad-free experience
  • A weekly newsletter
  • A 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription delivered directly to you
Make sure you’re covered for physical injuries or property damage that occur at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business

Latest on Entrepreneur