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Continued: Jaywalkers, cyclists, blind corners _ Google says its driverless cars mastering city streets

  • Article by: JUSTIN PRITCHARD , Associated Press
  • Last update: April 28, 2014 - 7:15 PM

Before recent breakthroughs, Google had contemplated mapping all the world's stop signs. Now the technology can read stop signs, including those held in the hands of school crossing guards, Hohne said.

While the car knows to stop, just when to start again is still a challenge, partly because the cars are programmed to drive defensively. At a four-way stop, Google's cars have been known to wait in place as other cars edge out into the intersection.

The cars still need human help with other problems. Among them, understanding the gestures that drivers give one another to signal it's OK to merge or change lanes, turning right on red, and driving in rain or fog (which requires more sophisticated sensors).

To date, Google's cars have gone about 700,000 miles in self-driving mode, the company said. Hohne said more than 10,000 miles have been on city streets; Urmson said it would not be easy to calculate the total with greater specificity.

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