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

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy
Buckle Up: Google's Self-Driving Cars to Hit the Open Road
Image credit: Google
Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC
2 min read
A Note From The Editor
Tell our editors about your automotive buying plans in this 1-minute survey and get a free chapter download from The Tax and Legal Playbook as well as a $1 subscription to Entrepreneur magazine.

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

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Entrepreneur Store scours the web for the newest software, gadgets & web services. Explore our giveaways, bundles, "Pay What You Want" deals & more.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.