Google's project for self-driving cars is slowly taking shape as they introduced the final design of the prototypes being built to be fully functional at the end of last year. The goal of this project is to make safer vehicles that could get users from one point to another with a press of a button using GPS systems and a lot of sensors and they could even help users who currently don't have the ability to drive. The sensors and software algorithms are said to detect objects as far as two football fields in every direction as well as unexpected objects like birds or any other that might be carried by the wind, so while it's safe to assume they work well, a lot of testing has to be done over the years to ensure everyone's protection.
Recently, the company announced that these prototypes would make their first appearance in the streets of California in the summer. These cars will reach a speed of up to 25 mph and there would be drivers that could use the removable manual controls in case of an emergency or an unexpected event shall occur like inaccessible roads due to a construction or congestion. Now, Google has communicated that these car prototypes designed to be self-driven are ready to be tested in the roads of Mountain View and some of them might even be spotted around those streets. They use the same software that has been tested in the Lexus self-driven vehicles for almost a million miles without a driver and the reports about accidents have been minimal and apparently these cars drive more safely than human drivers, so this new step is to receive some feedback by the neighbors that actually get to see one and how they interact with the vehicles.
You can check a site in the source link that Google has created dedicated to this project, you can learn more about the technology behind the cars, a little bit of history about this project and even the rules for a contest that invited artists or designers to intervene the cars to make the design a little friendlier and to get the chance to ride one of them.