Google Self Driving Car (SDC)


Google gets serious about Self Driving Car (SDC)

google self driving car
Source:Google self driving car

Google Self Driving Car (SDC) is a project by Google X  and Google has been working on this project since 2009.

Google’s Self Driving Cars have about $150,000 cost in equipment including a $70,000 LIDAR system.LIDAR is a remote sensing technology which Google has used in its Self Driving Cars.

Light Detection and Ranging—is a remote sensing method used to examine the surface of the Earth.

LIDAR collects 3-dimensional point clouds of the Earth’s surface. A LIDAR instrument principally consists of a laser, a scanner, and a specialized GPS receiver. Types of LIDAR are topographic and bathymetric. Topographic LIDAR typically uses a near-infrared laser to map the land, while bathymetric lidar uses water-penetrating green light to also measure seafloor and riverbed elevations.

google self-driving car
Google Self Driving car prototype

Google Self Driving Car (SDC)

These Google Self Driving car prototypes rely on their sensors and software to drive themselves. According to Google the sensors keep updated themselves of the surroundings by asking following questions

  1. Where am I?
  2. What’s around me?
  3. What will happen next?
  4. What should I do?

Also there is no steering wheel and pedals present in Google Self Driving car. Sensors are designed to sense objects like pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles and more, and are designed to safely drive around them by creating alternate path. Sensors treat these objects are rectangular boxes of varying size based on their actual dimension.


The software powering Google’s cars is called Google Chauffeur. Lettering on the side of each car identifies it as a “Self Driving car”. The project is currently being led by Google engineer Sebastian Thrun, former director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google Street View.

Project director Chris Urmson said the company was taking things steadily. “This kind of technology — cars that drive themselves — is a different type of product than most of what Google does. It requires us to think a little differently about how we bring it to market and make sure we’re very thoughtful about the bar we set before we let it out for people to use,” he said.


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