Google's mission is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful." Their next step into that realm is making auto driving cars. Anyone driving the twists of Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles recently may have glimpsed a Toyota Prius with a curious funnel-like cylinder on the roof. Harder to notice was that the person at the wheel wasn't actually driving. The car is a project of Google, which has been working in secret but in plain view on vehicles that can drive themselves, using artificial-intelligence software that can sense anything near the car and mimic the decisions made by a human driver.
Google has announced they've "developed technology for cars that can drive themselves." Google said they've been testing this for a while and have already driven 140,000 miles with trained safety drivers who can override the system at any time.
Google explained the automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to "see" other traffic, as well as detailed maps (which we collect using manually driven vehicles) to navigate the road ahead -- which's all pulled Google's data centers.
The New York Times has posted pictures and a video embed below: