Google has educated its self-driving cars on the ways of cyclists so that they can predict their behavior. These cars use sensors and software to detect the signals, according to a Google report. They have also learned how to be cautious around cyclists of all kinds, including traditional bikes, mountain bikes, unicycles, and tandems.
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Google said: Our cars recognize cyclists as unique users of the road, and are taught to drive conservatively around them (it helps to have a number of avid cyclists on our engineering team!).
They observed cyclists on roads and on a private test track so that the car would be able to recognize some of the more common riding behaviors, which will make prediction much easier. The sensors are able to detect hand signals that determine whether or not a cyclist will make a turn or shift over. Since riders often make signals earlier than normal, the car has the ability to remember the movement so that they can anticipate a turn down the line. The cars can see 360 degrees, so they are able to see all cyclists, even in the dark.
The self-driving car doesn't have a steering wheel or pedals. Instead, it has only sensors and software. The hope is that the car will be commercialized by 2020. The testing cars include Lexus RX450h SUVs that have autonomous software. They have been testing cars that are equipped with a backup steering wheel and brakes throughout the West Coast.
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There are still some nuances required for driving. It uses Lidar sensors that are expensive to teach the different honks, beeps, and traffic patterns that it may find.