Google self-driving car encounters unexpected test scenario

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Google encountered an unexpected ‘scenario’ during the testing and development of its self-driving car in Mountain View, California, when the vehicle encountered a woman in a wheelchair chasing a duck.

Google has been carrying out testing of its self-driving cars on the roads of its hometown in California as well as in Austin, Texas, but it was on the streets of the former last year where it came across a woman wielding a broom and doing figure eights in the roadway in an electric wheelchair while chasing a duck.  

“You can’t make stuff like this up,” said John Krafcik, CEO of the self-driving car project, as reported by Wards Auto.  Krafcik was speaking at the Automotive News World Congress, held in conjunction with the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan, last week. Although the self-driving project had not been prepared for this particular road event, “the car knew what to do,” he added.

The prototype vehicle waited for the event to pass and then continued. “It didn’t do what a human would have done in that situation,” Krafcik added. “[It didn’t] get out of the car and take a cellphone photo of the scene!”

Google has logged about 13 million miles testing its self-driving prototypes that are occupied by engineer overseers who monitor progress and record information.

January 21, 2016

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John joined UKi Media & Events in 2012 and has worked across a range of B2B titles within the company's automotive, marine and entertainment divisions. Currently editor of Automotive Testing Technology International, Crash Test Technology International and Electric & Hybrid Marine Technology International, John co-ordinates the day-the-day operations of each magazine, from commissioning and writing to editing and signing-off, as well managing web content. Aside from the magazines, John also serves as co-chairman of the annual Electric & Hybrid Marine Awards and can be found sniffing out stories throughout the halls of several of UKI's industry-leading expo events.

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