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Google: We Are Rethinking The Autonomous Car

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Google: We Are Rethinking The Autonomous Car
Google: We Are Rethinking The Autonomous Car

Video: Google: We Are Rethinking The Autonomous Car

Video: Google: We Are Rethinking The Autonomous Car
Video: Digitalization and AI: Rethinking How We Work 2023, June

Google has already covered many 100,000 kilometers in the USA with its prototypes. The search engine giant expects that it will be able to present a product suitable for end customers well before 2021.

Krasser cannot distinguish between two visions of the future: At the Allianz Insurance Car Day, one participant shows a car without a steering wheel and pedals; the vehicle with the charm of a rolling kettle grill chugs with its passengers through Californian suburbs. The other participant lets a sports car drift at top speed over a wet race track. The prototypes from Google and BMW actually only have one thing in common: In both vehicles, humans are no longer in command.

Authorization for little hummingbird from Google

Both cars represent typical uses for fully autonomous driving. This is especially important in two exactly opposite situations. Accident researchers know that human drivers fail particularly often when things get really hectic - or really boring. For the fast-paced situations, Christoph Grote, Managing Director of BMW Research and Technology, lets his colleague computer slide his six in extreme situations. “Against a normal driver, the machine wins the race,” the researcher is certain.

Jens Redmer, Google's new product manager for Germany, also sees the authorization for "our little kissable ball". That's just an early development prototype. But the IT company is by no means a laughing stock among car developers. Nobody laughs at this point in the discussion with representatives from Audi, Continental, Bosch, BMW or Valeo. Because manufacturers and suppliers also know that the search engine company has already "driven many 100,000 kilometers fully autonomously on public roads - accident-free", as Redmer emphasizes. Other cars only hit the test cars with Google technology twice.

Redmer is sure to present “a product that is suitable for end customers well before 2021”. In other words, a car that takes passengers from A to B without them having to steer, brake, shift gears or even look at the road. The best of public transport and privacy, so to speak. Only the legislature and the insurers have to play along.

Cheaper tariffs

Driving autonomously in a Volvo
Driving autonomously in a Volvo

Markus Rieß, CEO of Allianz Deutschland AG, is still skeptical: "Legislators still only know a car that a human driver can control - and that is what he is responsible for." The insurance company finally calculates its tariffs on this basis. However, they could soon look completely different if more autonomous systems move into the car. "An S-Class with automatic traffic jam assistant, emergency braking system and lane keeping function could then be insured by the same driver more cheaply than a small car without such helpers."

This is one of the reasons why Germany’s premium manufacturers are keen to further develop autonomous driving. "Fully automatic parking in the multi-storey car park will be possible in the next five years, even when driving on the autobahn, it is before the market is ready for the market," says Audi's head of advanced driver assistance development, Miklos Kiss. Both the Ingolstadt-based company and its competitors from Munich and Stuttgart have long been in the test phase.

What Google does differently, says Redmer: “We don't have to take into account the image of a car brand, existing customers or models. That’s why we’re rethinking the autonomous car in the meantime.”Anyone who, as an aging person, cannot or doesn’t want to drive themselves, often just needs a means of transport from A to B outside of the cities. Driving fun aside.

Too many exceptions to the rule

Continental head of research Christian Senger also thinks that the new systems "will in principle be able to handle any normal driving situation automatically by the beginning of the next decade". The person who sleeps in the back seat will probably still be science fiction. Because in road traffic there are simply too many exceptions to the rule - and in which people have to be able to take the wheel again quickly. Senger agrees with the representatives of the established automobile companies.

Google man Redmer smiles at it - and notices three things; first: “Our company has only been around for 17 years. For many of the answers we give today, 20 years ago there weren't any questions.”Second:“Driving cars is an information problem. That is exactly our business field.”Third:“Car companies think in model cycles of five or six years. We're more used to new versions every quarter.”Could mean: So maybe it's a little faster with the car without a driver. (SP-X)

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