useful self-driving cars still far off

Hype antidote. Turns out Google's approach to "self-driving" is to map the hell out of the street ahead of time, rather than the sort of real-time intelligence needed for driving in the real world.

Google’s Self-Driving Cars Still Face Many Obstacles | MIT Technology Review (MIT Technology Review)

Google often leaves the impression that, as a Google executive once wrote, the cars can “drive anywhere a car can legally drive.” However, that’s true only if intricate preparations have been made beforehand, with the car’s exact route, including driveways, extensively mapped. Data from multiple passes by a special sensor vehicle must later be pored over, meter by meter, by both computers and humans. It’s vastly more effort than what’s needed for Google Maps.

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