Internet search giant Google has been handling many different projects. One of its projects, the self-driving car, is being tested all the time. Google has declared that their vehicles, of which there are a dozen on the road at any moment, recently clocked more than 300,000 miles of testing.
Engineering lead on the project, Chris Urmson, said about the project in a post on Google’s Blog: “We’re encouraged by this progress, but there’s still a long road ahead. To provide the best experience we can, we’ll need to master snow-covered roadways, interpret temporary construction signals and handle other tricky situations that many drivers encounter. As a next step, members of the self-driving car team will soon start using the cars solo (rather than in pairs), for things like commuting to work. This is an important milestone, as it brings this technology one step closer to every commuter. One day we hope this capability will enable people to be more productive in their cars. For now, our team members will remain in the driver’s seats and will take back control if needed”.
The Lexus RX450h with the self-driving equipment
While the team members commute, many of them will test Google’s algorithms on the Lexus RX450h, a new vehicle it has added to the self-driving car tests over the past months, to help refine the systems in different environments and different terrain.
The major concern over Google’s self-driving car project is that of the possibility of accidents. Google says that the project could lead to safer driving. “With each breakthrough we feel more optimistic about delivering this technology to people and dramatically improving their driving experience,” said Urmson.
Google has also been hard at work on one of their other projects, Google Fiber. The search giant plans to offer consumers blazing fast 1000 Mbps connections, which is roughly a hundred times faster than the average internet speed of the world.
The search giant launched the Google Fiber service in Kansas City last month. Aimed at consumers only, and offering a one gigabit-speed Internet connection and cable TV, this service has already received over 3,900 pre-registrations. Over 20 percent of the designated fiberhood (Google Fiber neighbourhood) zones have gained enough pre-registrations to guarantee a buildout.
The reason Kansas was picked as the launch city is explained by Kevin Lo, General Manager of Google Access, in a blog post on the Google Fiber Blog. Lo wrote, “When we announced that we wanted to provide a community with Internet access more than 100 times faster than what most Americans enjoy today, we asked who was interested in working with us. More than 1,100 cities raised their hands, and those of you in Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri won us over with your enthusiasm for better, faster web connections.”
According to The Verge, Google intends to build the service in areas with the most internet connections first and calls each buildout a “rally”. In order to qualify for a rally, each fiberhood must gather a minimum required number of $10 pre-registrations to bring Google’s Internet service to that zone.