What is Google driving at?

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The tech giant gets the green light for its driverless car

Google on Friday announced that its self-driving car will leave the test track this summer and hit public roads of Mountain View, California, where it is based. The last phase of testing, follows the one run at the company’s test facilities so the new prototypes already have lots of experience to draw on – in fact, it translates into about 75 years of typical American adult driving experience.

Google argues that the vehicle will mark another era in personal transportation “Vehicles that can take anyone from A to B at the push of a button could transform mobility for millions of people, whether by reducing the 94 percent of accidents caused by human error (PDF), reclaiming the billions of hours wasted in traffic, or bringing everyday destinations and new opportunities within reach of those who might otherwise be excluded by their inability to drive a car,” the company said in the Google blog on Friday.

In the coming years, Google plans to run small pilot programs with their prototypes to learn how people perceive and interact with vehicles like this. Undoubtedly, the world is another step closer to the day when people can, in good conscience, drive to work while reading a book, or texting with a friend and sipping coffee.

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What is Google driving at?