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The Kitt of Google

Posted on: Oct, 12th 2010
Kitt with the logo of Google
The autonomous drive of vehicles is an application of artificial intelligence that have a lot of years of development. Two days ago Sabastian Thrun, a Google engineer, reveal in the blog of the company that they are investing in this kind of technology to sell it, in a future, to car manufacturers. Do you want to know in what consist?

Thrun describes as seven cars of Google run over 140.000 miles (225.308 kilometers) in the United States. Inside of the vehicles there was a driver that took the control in the dangerous situations and other person that monitorized the good behavior of the software.

This is a milestone in the development of this kind of systems because never before anybody had traveled such long distance.

This tests are very important to the development of the software of autonomous driving, because the collected data allows to train and improve the system, making it more robust.

The problem of the autonomous driving is complex because is divided in several sub-problems. In first place, from the information that receives the sensors and cameras that have in the roof, the software have to decide how move the steering wheel, accelerate and decelerate from all these external information and taking into account also, the internal information of the vehicle, present speed, acceleration, the position of the wheel, etc.

To perform the project, Google has several engineers from the DARPA Grand Challenge that is a competition where the govern of the EE.UU. organizes races of autonomous vehicles.

In the following video you can see the impressive quantity of the sensors that carry this kind of vehicles in the DARPA Grand Challenge:

Watch on Youtube

That a computer drives have a lot of advantages. Never it be tired, never it lose, optimizes the fuel and sure that will arrive to have less percentage of accidents than a human. This raises the major problem to this technology can arrives to the market, that is ¿whose be the guilty when an accident occurs, of the owner of the car or of the programmer of the artificial intelligence? If the laws would chose the second case, couldn't be viable its implantation, because the programmer would have to hire a insurance for every autonomous car that sells, although the autonomous car would be more reliable.

Perhaps the solution is do that the human can take the control in a determinate moment, in this way, in the last instance the responsibility falls in the owner of the vehicle.

According to Google only we have to wait 8 years to see cars without driver are in the market, but what do you think? Will arrive a future in that the car comes to the door of our house? Would you put your live totally in the hands of a machine in that the automatic pilot can't be disconnected? Would you trust it although would be probed that save a lot of lives?

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