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.