So it turns out that Google's self-driving car may not be as smart as we thought — though it's still pretty darn smart. The teched-out Lexus RX350h has plenty of lasers, cameras and radar systems to keep it on track when driving around with no human at the wheel, but according to Google Software Lead Dmitri Dolgov, there's still one thing that's been left out — unmapped roads. While the self-driving vehicle does amazingly well on roads that Google has collected data for, it can't drive anywhere that's off the map.

Dolgov says that "If we have not already built our own maps in an area, the car cannot drive there." He went on to say, "It's also a really important part of the safety story."

Even though the Google Maps cars may have collected data for certain areas, there's still plenty of work to be done before these driverless vehicles can follow the same path. Each road needs to be driven multiple times in order to collect enough data to make them safe enough for these vehicles.

Dolgov says he isn't worried though. These unmapped areas will continue to be collected and the vehicles can always be driven by humans to collect more data in unknown places.

Source: Wired

There are 12 comments

dizzle16 says:

That reminds me of the most recent episode of "Silicon Valley"
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mwara244 says:

That was hilarious, it diverted itself with a passenger into a shipping container to a private built home in the ocean.

The people that do the research for continuity on the show are very very good. It is true that the "elite" billionaires are building dwellings for them selves off shore and in cities just for their own group. They are doing this off shore outside of territorial water for tax evading purposes, were one of the reasons given. New York has built a sky scraper at $90 million per apartment that have already been bought up by billionaires before it's even finished.

ekt8750 says:

Yeah if it was a Google car that wouldn't have happened lol

lightyear420 says:

Well no shit.

xamadeix says:

Try driving that thing around Boston through all the tunnels.

Its called Inertial GPS ;)

lafountain says:

Construction areas would become an issue as well when they close off certain sections of the road and have you take alternate routes.

drathos says:

They've already demonstrated it handling construction. Whether or not someone adjusted the mapping data for that, I don't know.

rap1 says:

What about parking lots then and access roads. Not much use without those.

Its just a matter of someone mapping those or someone in one of these cars driving those roads. I wouldn't mind being paid by Google to drive around one of those Lexus' around my local area and go through all the roads. I would just hope its at least all road/AWD or I would be in trouble <.<

ScottJ says:

No kidding. That's the most obvious implication of a technology possible.

Think about it. Without maps how would you tell it where you want to go?

Sam Regan says:

How would it know of the roads if the data wasn't implemented in the first place? Seems like a pointless article to me.

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