- REUTERS/Chip East
As more and more Googlers leave the self-driving car team to start their own ventures or join other companies that are closer to having the cars on the road, many are asking one question: Where is Google’s autonomous car?
The answer might lie with Google’s cofounder, Larry Page.
According to a new piece from Bloomberg’s Alistair Barr, the current Alphabet CEO has pushed for Google’s self-driving car technology to completely replace human drivers. A person told Bloomberg that although some Google team members pushed for partial automation years ago, Page put his foot down.
But Page might have a good reason: According to Bloomberg, Google noticed in tests of partial automation – like the kind Tesla uses, which is called Autopilot – that drivers’ attention wavered if they didn’t have to stay focused on the road, which made it harder for them to take over again if they needed to. If the recent Tesla crashes are any indication, partial automation is not foolproof and it still requires drivers to stay alert on the roads.
The full Bloomberg piece – which delves into the hurdles Google still faces in getting self-driving cars to market – is worth a read. Head over to Bloomberg for more.