Autonomous Vehicles google self-driving lexus

Published on August 28th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan

6

Google’s Self-Driving Cars Hit 300,000 Miles, & I Saw the New One! (Exclusive Videos & Pics)

August 28th, 2012 by  

 
Google’s self-driving cars this month passed 300,000 miles traveled. A lot more than I would have guessed. Also, incidentally, I ran across one of these interesting vehicles while visiting Mountain View (home of Google) and the surrounding area just a couple weeks ago. Of course, that’s the most likely place you’ll find one of these vehicles.

“We’ve done some testing in Nevada, Florida, Washington D.C., and other areas, but most of our testing has been in California because that’s where our team is based,” a Google spokesperson told TPM this month.

Surprisingly, the self-driving car we saw is a new one just added to fleet, the Lexus RX450h pictured below and in the videos at the bottom.

google self-driving suv

Promotional image of new Google self-driving car, a modified Lexus RX450h.

google automatic driving car

Picture of Google self-driving car in Palo Alto. Photo Credit: Zachary Shahan / CleanTechnica

google self-driving lexus

Google’s brand new self-driving car. Photo Credit: Zachary Shahan / CleanTechnica

Now that the company has passed 300,000 miles, it is looking to expand the testing conditions and locations. It’s going to be covering “snow-covered roadways” and “temporary construction signals” with them now. And the company is dropping its requirement of having two people riding in them for monitoring down to one.

Lastly, the other recent change to the trial is that it’s going to allow employees (some of them, that is) to start taking these babies to work.

“Specifically, the work commutes using the Google self-driving cars ‘will take place in the San Francisco Bay Area at this pont,'” TPM reports.

“Google declined to specify just when it expected the vehicles to be commercially available, but if a successful test in March involving a legally blind passenger is any indication, the company is well on its way toward changing transportation history.”
 


 
Pretty astounding, eh? When I first heard about these, I thought they were a joke. Then, I thought ‘ok, maybe in 10 years or so.’ Now, I’m starting to think they’ll be for sale soon. We’ll see….

For now, you can check out these two videos I took of the one we saw in Palo Alto:

And here’s one more video, of much better quality, featuring the first test drive with a blind person (or, it seems, any non–Google employee):

Source: TPM (via one of our great readers) 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) one letter at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. Otherwise, he's probably enthusiastically fulfilling his duties as the director/editor of EV Obsession, Gas2, Solar Love, Planetsave, or Bikocity; or as president of Important Media. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, energy storage, and wind energy expert. If you would like him to speak at a related conference or event, connect with him via social media: ZacharyShahan.com, .



Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares