Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Virginia State News

September 4, 2013

Google tests self-driving car at Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, Va. — Google is working with Virginia Tech researchers to bring its vision of cars that can drive themselves one step closer to reality.

The technology company spent the past month in Blacksburg testing one of its self-driving cars at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s Smart Road.

Semiautonomous cars switch control back and forth between the driver and the vehicle. Google wanted to know how well people were able to manage these transitions.

The Roanoke Times reports that drivers were put behind the wheel and confronted with a range of scenarios to see how they responded.

Google supplied the car, Virginia Tech provided the expertise and transportation officials provided $2 million in funding.

The car is equipped with laser range finders, radar and cameras to monitor its surroundings and react accordingly.

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