Self-driving cars are getting closer and closer to our own driveways. But before they make it there, they still have to figure out how to navigate through some tricky city driving situations like this one, when a self-driving car meets an indecisive cyclist on the road.
In this new video, Google explains how they've been testing their self-driving car in some potentially sticky conditions including construction zones, passing a truck parked on the side of the road, and a railroad crossing. Especially interesting, though, is what's happening with cyclists. The car classifies cyclists as a special class of obstacle and uses the riders hand signals (and how they change) to predict how he or she might be moving next.
Of course, there's some things to resolve on the self-driving car front yet, chief among them being that so far all the city driving tests have taken place in Mountain View, CA. How it would deal with regional driving conditions — for instance, with a more rural setting where sudden animal crossings are a fairly common night driving hazard or a less temperate driving setting — remains to be seen.
Still, these new tests, which bring the total number of miles driven by self-driving cars up to 700,000, make the self-driving car seem closer than ever.