Google Reveals Self-Driving Tests Started In 2009

The idea of self-driving cars has been around for some time with recent testing on public roads approved by various governmental agencies.

Now it turns out that some testing occurred even before the regulators were regulating.

Back in 2009, Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page challenged engineers to drive autonomously in California, according to a blog post by Waymo, which originally was founded as the Google Self-Driving Car Project.

The Google founders challenge involved driving autonomously without human intervention or disengagements along 10 challenging 100-mile routes in California.

Google just released video footage from its archive of its first-generation Waymo Driver.

“Now, more than 10 years and billions of real-world and simulation miles later, we’re releasing footage from our archive to share the remarkable progress made by the first generation Waymo Driver,” states the blog post. “One lesson from these early experiences is clear: demonstration videos are fun to create, and perhaps even more fun to watch, but the real challenge in creating the world’s most experienced driver is scaling robustly to millions of safely delivered rides.”

Depending on the procedure, the statute of limitations in California range from one to 10 years.

5 comments about "Google Reveals Self-Driving Tests Started In 2009".
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  1. Pete Markiewicz from Plyojump, April 27, 2020 at 3:54 p.m.

    This entirely misses the work on self-driving cars by the US government agency DARPA - the 2004 and 2005 Grand Challenges provided a demo of self-driving in desert environments. Experiments were being done in the LA area as early as the mid-1990s.

    The fact that the promised fleet of self-driving cars hasn't arrived demonstrates just how hard this problem is...

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, April 27, 2020 at 4:11 p.m.

    Right, Pete. Self-driving cars have been on the drawing board for many, many years, even back to early commercial Web days. Thanks for the comment.

  3. Ken Kurtz from creative license replied, April 27, 2020 at 6:05 p.m.

    Just what "hard problem" are you referring to, Pete? The problem that is production of safe, efficient "self-driving" cars?

    I guess what I don't understand is what "problem" the production of "self-driving" cars might possibly solve. As hard as it is, and as expensive as it's going to be, and as unsafe as it could turn out being, IS THERE EVEN A PROBLEM THAT EXISTS THAT COULD BE SOLVED by this boondoggle?

  4. Gabriel Cohen from SpotX, April 27, 2020 at 6:48 p.m.

    who doesn't remember this and the dog that drove a car? not news....

  5. Gabriel Cohen from SpotX replied, April 27, 2020 at 6:51 p.m.

    @ken - feel yall are saying the same thing.... happy to chat

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