Our vehicles, of which about a dozen are on the road at any given time, have now completed more than 300,000 miles of testing. They’ve covered a wide range of traffic conditions, and there hasn’t been a single accident under computer control.
We’re encouraged by this progress, but there’s still a long road ahead. To provide the best experience we can, we’ll need to master snow-covered roadways, interpret temporary construction signals and handle other tricky situations that many drivers encounter. As a next step, members of the self-driving car team will soon start using the cars solo (rather than in pairs), for things like commuting to work.
What Google is doing with its self-driving fleet is nothing short of amazing, but a very simplified form of autonomous driving is already available in existing vehicles — an example is the 2013 LS, which could likely drive itself by using the Lane Keep Assist and all-speed cruise control, though I DO NOT recommend anyone testing my theory.
(In a funny coincidence, what should I spot on the road while in the Bay area test-driving the new LS?)