Google's autonomous vehicle tech is on a roll

Posted by Shane McGlaun

One of the most interesting projects Google is currently working on is probably the self-driving car, with Mountain View continuing to file a slew of patents related to advanced autonomous vehicle tech.

Although most Google cars are small hybrid vehicles, the online search giant recently decided to add some larger vehicles to its autonomous lineup, including the Lexus RX450h hybrid.

Google says it envisions the self-driving automobiles serving multiple purposes, including helping those with visual or physical disabilities to increase their mobility and independence. Autonomous automobiles are also considered one possible way the industry can help reduce accidents caused by distracted driving or poor visibility.

Google's self-driving vehicles recently hit a major milestone by completing more than 300,000 miles of testing. The search giant also notes that on any given day, there are about a dozen of its self-driving vehicles on the road.

However, Mountain View wants to test its fleet of vehicles in other states besides sunny and warm California, specifically in areas with heavy snowfall. Google is also intent on refining its algorithm so that it is capable of interpreting temporary construction signs and other road conditions in real time.

If I worked for Google, I would totally be up for cruising back and forth to Mountain View or a local Google HQ in another state. Interestingly enough, driver error was blamed for causing the only accident involving a self-driving Google car.