Two Years

Wow – has it really been two years since I posted anything? That’s ok, no one was reading anyway.

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Nice analogy

I like this analogy.

Sometimes you don’t just have a hammer, you have an array of hammers. You have rock hammers, claw hammers, and sledge hammers, all in numerous sizes. You have a variety of wooden and rubber mallets too. You’ve even got a gavel. Because you have such an impressive collection of specialized hammers, y…

Spam Spam Spam Spam

Trying a new spam blocker since pretty much every comment I get is spam.

Details on Google’s Self Driving Cars relies on very detailed maps of the roads and terrain, something that Urmson said is essential to determine accurately where the car is. Using GPS-based techniques alone, he said, the location could be off by several meters.

The second thing is that, before sending the self-driving car on a road test, Google engineers drive along the route one or more times to gather data about the environment. When it’s the autonomous vehicle’s turn to drive itself, it compares the data it is acquiring to the previously recorded data, an approach that is useful to differentiate pedestrians from stationary objects like poles and mailboxes.

The video above shows the results. At one point you can see the car stopping at an intersection. After the light turns green, the car starts a left turn, but there are pedestrians crossing. No problem: It yields to the pedestrians, and even to a guy who decides to cross at the last minute.


Sometimes, however, the car has to be more “aggressive.” When going through a four-way intersection, for example, it yields to other vehicles based on road rules; but if other cars don’t reciprocate, it advances a bit to show to the other drivers its intention. Without programming that kind of behavior, Urmson said, it would be impossible for the robot car to drive in the real world.