Google's self-driving cars are hitting the road this summer on public roads- but there have been some big modifications since the original test models. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Google will start testing its self-driving cars on public roads this summer in the Mountain View California area. Unlike the original prototypes, these cars will have steering wheels and brakes-so testers can take over driving if needed. Edmunds.com's John O'Dell says the technology is ready but... SOUNDBITE: JOHN O'DELL, SENIOR EDITOR, EDMUNDS.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The real issue is getting people to accept them, getting people comfortable with the idea that the car can drive itself and that all the other cars around you are driving themselves and you don't have to do anything and it's getting the legal system and the regulatory system and the liability system to understand how to cope with these cars." Google will test new safety features, including a foam front end and a flexible windshield. It also said the speed of the prototypes will be limited to 25 mph to lower the likelihood of severe injury in a collision. On Monday, Google disclosed that its self-driving Lexus vehicles had been involved in 11 accidents on public roads near its Mountain View, California, headquarters- but Google said they weren't the fault of the cars. SOUNDBITE: JOHN O'DELL, SENIOR EDITOR, EDMUNDS.COM (ENGLISH) SAYING: "Even if the car knows another car is heading for it and it could take an evasive action its software might identify a motorcyclist in the other lane, or a pedestrian on the sidewalk and decide if I jerk to the right to get out of this guy's way I am going to hit somebody. it's better if I let this car hit me. so we'll never be 100% accident free the hope with economy is we will be 95% accident free. " Google said its self-driving cars have been logging about 10,000 miles a week and have accumulated nearly 1 million miles.