Would you get in a car that drives itself?

Would you get in a car that drives itself?

From search engines to car engines

Robotic cars aren't in a sci-fi writer's imagination. They're real and they're coming to a street near you!

Well, maybe it'll be a while until robot cars are the norm, but Google's self-driving cars have clocked up a successful 140,000 miles on busy city streets.

Have a look at this video of a journalist testing Google's self-driving car. Nobody is touching the steering wheel - the car is steering itself!

What's the point of a self-driving car?

Because it's cool! OK, not just because it's cool.  Robot cars could reduce car accidents, cut down on traffic congestion and reduce the amount of petrol we use.

How does it work?

Self driving car

How does Google's self-driving car work? Source: Google and the New York Times

The car 'sees' the road through cameras, sensors and radar. This information is sent to the 'brain' of the car, a computer. The car can take in and process information much more quickly than a human driver, allowing it to make and carry out correct decisions swiftly.

When will all cars be robotic?

Designers have to make sure that the cars can cope with all kinds of unpredictable situations, like pedestrians walking out in front of cars, cyclists running red lights and other people's terrible driving.

Governments also need to think about the laws involving robotic cars. Who is responsible if there is an accident - the person in the car or the manufacturer who made and designed the car? Once these problems are sorted out there's no reason why we couldn't all be driving robotic cars!

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