Google's self-driving car started roaming around the wider streets in Mountain View on Thursday. The roads seemed "safer" that day compared to the time when Google's prototype vehicle had a close call with another self-driving car. Luckily, there was no collision reported.
The incident happened on Tuesday when a Google self-driving car and a Delphi self-driving test vehicle were seen on a public street in Mountain View, California. The Delphi car had one passenger who is no other than John Absmeier, the director of Delphi's Silicon Valley Lab.
According to Absmeier, he was riding in his company's prototype Audi Q5 crossover vehicle when the car was cut off as it prepares to change lanes. As a result, the Audi was forced to abort changing lanes.
Absmeier said that the Delphi car "took appropriate action."
The other car involved in the incident is Google's self-driving prototype which is a Lexus RX400h crossover.
It was the first recorded incident wherein both of the vehicles involved are self-driving prototypes.
The Delphi headquarters is located in Mountain View, just a few minutes away from Google headquarters. Compared to Google which had been testing over 20 prototype vehicles, Delphi had at least two Audi prototypes that were seen roaming around the streets in California.
As both cars are self-driving prototypes, they are said to be designed with similar hardware and software. Delphi's self-driving prototype is said to be equipped with radar, lasers, cameras and special computer software that allows the car to self-drive. Google's self-driving prototype vehicles started to carry the company's own design when they were tested on local streets on Thursday. These latest prototypes have the familiar software found in the Lexus models.
The newly-designed models are built to work with no steering wheel or pedals. The top part carries a black "CCTV"-like fixture which is filled with scanners, allowing the car to have a 360 degree view of its surroundings. Google decided to have humans inside the two-seater prototype during the testing phase just in case an emergency occurs.
"The cars look really, really cute," said Peleg Bar of Mountain View. "It actually looks like they came out of a computer game or out of space."
John Schultz, a longtime resident, believes that the car is more than ready to hit the road.
"I think they've been designed in such a fashion as to not be aggressive. I think it's also a great advantage for people who are disabled, blind, who would be able to use it, or elderly. I think it's the future."