Google's Self-Driving Car Project has been going on for quite a few years now. The company has gotten better and better with the project, but it still isn't making the company any money. This week, the program announced that it has crossed 2 million miles traveled on public roads. That's a pretty big milestone and puts them well ahead of their competitors. But, it's also worth pointing out that traveling 2 million miles is an accomplishment, but it doesn't mean that the car is ready to be made for public use. The real measurement here is how well these self-driving cars work. Or rather, how well the driver that Google is creating, is working.
Artificial Intelligence is playing a big role in everything Google does now, as well as other tech companies. And it's a big part of the self-driving car. And this driver has progressed from someone who was just learning how to drive, to a more seasoned driver, throughout the 2 million miles it has driven since 2009. Now just because the driver is driving this car better now, doesn't mean that mistakes aren't made. Google's cars have been involved in a little over a dozen accidents, however only one has actually been the car's own fault. The others have been due to other drivers on the roads, or humans.
Google isn't ready to put their software in the hands of other drivers just yet, but they are getting closer. Earlier this year, they announced a partnership with Fiat Chrysler, to use about 100 of their 2017 Chrysler Pacifica minivans for their project. The reason behind this is the fact that the Pacifica has doors that will automatically close. Meaning that it can open them and let the passengers out and then close them itself and be on its way. Making it even more autonomous than most other cars right now. Google is also setting up a facility in Metro Detroit to be closer to their partners – namely Chrysler, who is still based in the Detroit area, but Ford and General Motors are also located there.
So 2 million miles isn't shabby, but there's still so much further to go for Google and its competitors. We are seeing more and more autonomous vehicles on the road every day. And perhaps it won't be much longer before we see these cars being the only cars on the road.