A driverless car, also known as a self-driving car is an autonomous car which can perform the actions of the human being, as if a man were driving a traditional car. We can say that the car is independent of the human as the car only needs to be programmed with the destination. The mechanical part of the vehicle is held by the car its own. Moreover, to function, the car has some specific technology, for example laser, radar, GPS and computer vision. An example of an approved case of self-driving cars can be Google’s.
In 2011 the state of Nevada was the first jurisdiction in the United States to pass a law concerning the operation of driverless cars. This law was turned into effect by March 2012 and the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles gave the first license for a self-driven car in May 2012. This license was given to Google’s car which was in this case a Toyota Prius. Google got involved with this issue as it is trying to develop technology for driverless vehicles. In addition, the project is currently being led by Google engineer Sebastian Thrun, director of the Stanford
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Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and the co-inventor of Google Street View. To develop this system, Google also had to hire 15 engineers. This topic about self-driving cars involves also other issues such as hardware and software, social and ethical issues and the social impact. As regards hardware and software involved, it integrates Google Maps with various hardware sensors and artificial intelligence software so as to take its passengers where they want safely and comfortably. Google Maps provides the car with road information; the hardware sensors provide the vehicle with real time environment conditions and the artificial intelligence software provides the car with real time decisions. Google Maps interacts with the GPS and acts as a database.
In addition, it is in charge of looking for speed limits, upcoming intersections, traffic reports, nearby collisions and directions. Concerning hardware, we have to take in account that it uses an array of sensors to navigate public roads without a human driver, and many other components. Google’s Toyota Prius possesses a lidar, which is a rotating sensor on the roof that scans more than 200 feet in all directions to generate a precise three-dimensional map of the car’s surroundings.