Google’s driverless car will need to be completely safe

1 min read

So Google is to build driverless electric cars with no controls except for a stop/go button. It says the first of the 200 prototypes should be ready in about a year.

The issue of driverless cars is one which continues to exercise various people. At the heart of the debate is the question of whether or not you trust technology. The driverless car was one of the most popular sessions at last year's Electronics Design Show Conference, fuelling an interesting – and, at some points, passionate – debate about the pros and cons. Driverless cars depend on a couple of things: sensors and high speed data processing. In going for a controls free vehicle, Google has put its trust in technology; the car is said to use a combination of laser and radar sensors and cameras to work out what's going on around it and, importantly, where it is. In the longer term, as driverless cars become more prevalent, there'll be the need for V2X communications. That's something that is only in its early days. But – and this is the big but – any driverless car will be dependent upon bug free software. And, as one of the contributions to the debate at last year's show asked, has anyone written bug free software? It may yet be some time before driverless cars are a common feature on the UK's roads.