Google has a new blog post detailing some of the progress it’s been making over the last year with its self-driving car initiative. The driverless cars have been tackling the challenge of navigating city streets lately, using Google’s home town of Mountain View as the test bed for navigating the increased complications that come with dense urban zones vs. relatively uncomplicated freeways.
The software Google uses to power its autonomous vehicles has been bolstered to better identify “hundreds of different objects moving according to different rules of the road,” all at once, including things like pedestrians, cyclists making turn and stop indications with their arms, a stop sign held aloft and many, many other signals. Google says its cars are actually better than human drivers in picking up many of these cues, because they’re always watching and never get tired or fatigued.
There’s lots of work left to do, according to Google, but the cars in its driverless vehicle project have now racked up over 700,000 miles. That’s about 28 trips around the circumference of the earth, for those counting.