Google tested the safety of its self-driving cars by swarming them with bikes

Google Tested The Safety Of Its Self-Driving Cars By Swarming Them With Bikes

That's one way to do it.

We know now that Google's self-driving cars are safer on the road than most human drivers. Most of that is due to the fact that robots aren't prone to things like distracting text messages, blinding flashes of road rage, or bad decisions after a night out. According to some estimates, fully autonomous smart cars could save over 30,000 lives a year.

About two weeks ago, Google pulled the curtains back a bit and showed us just how each car's sensor systems intake 3-D pixel data from their surroundings to determine how to most safely navigate tricky obstacles. Today, at a special demonstration in front of a small group of reporters, Google gave outsiders a little more insight into how, exactly, its fleet of Lexuses and Priuses are tested. Here's a highlight from Time technology writer Harry McCracken, who has been live-tweeting from the scene:

Of course, smart-car technology still has plenty of regulatory hurdles to clear, and they're still far too expensive for the overwhelming majority of people to afford. But from what we've seen so far, self-driving vehicles could usher in a future of accident-free roadways unburdened by dumb human impulses and willfully ignored safety laws.

Sort of.

[Image: Flickr user Ian Sane]

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  • Arif Novera

    Great article. it's very important for any road bike lover. What most people do not realize is almost all cyclists ride asymmetrically. Most everyone favors one side of their body. They may hang over the saddle on one side more than the other, which creates an uneven pedal stroke favoring one side on the down pedal stroke. Most people do not have limbs that are equal in length, even a centimeter can make a difference in your bike fit. Lack of flexibility in one side can also play a part in unevenness on a bike.