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December 13, 2016

Scenes from the street

  • technology

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July 2015

Each month we'll give examples of everyday situations we encounter. 


Understanding other vehicles’ intentions.

​Our vehicles understand the intentions of other vehicles on the road — such as when they want to enter our lane — and can respond accordingly. It’s not just about detecting a turn signal — our sensors can detect subtle shifts in other vehicles’ movement and consider where our car is relative to others, as well many other factors, to help it understand what’s happening in a given situation.

Responding to things we’ve never seen before​.

Teaching a self-driving car to handle every possible situation it could encounter on the road is not feasible, as there’s an infinite number of possibilities. Instead, our technology gives it fundamental capabilities to respond correctly to unexpected situations as they happen, like when we encounter a dog-powered skateboard.

In this case, we didn’t have to explicitly program a “dog-powered skateboard” algorithm; instead, our vehicle was able to understand there was a person here, and how they were moving, and then was able to slow down and give them space.