The self-driving car program that Google began seven and a half years ago just reached a major milestone on Wednesday: it logged its 2 millionth mile. Google’s two million miles is significantly more than any other company’s currently working on developing autonomous vehicles. Google reached the goal more quickly than anticipated by doubling the number of miles its driverless cars were logging each week from what it was doing last year.
A look at the numbers
- Given the average number of miles a person will drive in a year, Google’s two-million-mile mark represents approximately 300 years of behind-the-wheel experience—talk about being over-prepared for a driver’s test.
- This past year, Google’s self-driving car program has been averaging about 25,000 miles per week. In comparison, the average human travel travels only half that in an entire year.
- Google’s self-driving fleet currently consists of 58 vehicles (24 Lexus RX450h SUVs converted into autonomous vehicles and 34 prototype cars).
Not only has Google lapped every other company in the autonomous vehicle industry in quantity of miles driven, but Google also claims each mile driven by Google’s cars are more meaningful then each mile driven by their competitors since they bring their considerable amount of technology to bear when outfitting their fleet. In addition to navigating freeways, Google’s cars have been driving around cities as well, learning how to use four way intersections, pull over for police officers and other emergency vehicles, and even how to recognize cyclists’ hand signals.
Autonomous vehicles and the future
- At the current rate, autonomous vehicles will be street legal and available for purchase by consumers within the next few years.
- Private car ownership in urban areas will be pretty much non-existent by 2025.
- By 2035, the autonomous vehicle market will be a $77 billion-a-year industry.
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