Some people celebrate when their car’s odometer passes a milestone like 100,000 miles. But what if your odometer just topped 2 million miles?
That’s the milestone that Google’s self-driving car program is celebrating, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
The company had nearly 60 autonomous automobiles on the road across four states over the summer, according to reports, as the internet giant looked to perfect the technology in order to prepare it for consumers.
As reported in the PYMNTS Internet of Things Tracker, companies including Apple, Uber and others are working to make self-driving cars, once thought of as pieces of science fiction, into a reality.
Unlike some of their competitors, Google’s cars have been traveling frequently in cities and other populated areas. The company said that this is because conditions in cities give time to learn how to handle things like construction zones, road signs, bicyclists and police cars.
The 2 million miles traveled by the cars represent more than 300 years of human driving experience, Dmitri Dolgov, the software lead on Google’s car program, told WSJ. Google also performs roughly 3 million miles worth of driving each day in simulators.
So far, Google’s cars have been tested on the roads of Silicon Valley in California, along with Phoenix, Arizona, Austin, Texas, and Kirkland, Washington. Most recently, it has focused on learning the specifics of driving amongst humans, including how to act at four-way stops and interact with police officers.
Google began its self-driving car project more than seven years ago, though it has not taken steps that companies such as Uber have in allowing the public to take rides in the cars.
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The PYMNTS.com® Internet of Things Tracker, sponsored by Intel®, showcases companies that are leading the way in all aspects of the Internet of Things. Every month, the Tracker looks at what these companies are doing across the ecosystem in six categories: Devices, Infrastructure, Payments, Security, Software and Data.