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Google driverless car breakthrough

29 Apr 2014 at 12:17

Cars capable of driving themselves on the streets of towns and cities are not too far around the corner, Google has revealed.

The US technology giant has been developing driverless car technology for several years and the boffins behind the project say they have made a breakthrough in readying computers for tricky urban journeys.

Google is at the forefront of technological innovation in a variety of fields and the latest is motoring. Although this new technology can handle motorway driving with ease, the abundance of hazards in built-up areas - including tight corners, cyclists and pedestrians - have proved far more tricky.

But the project's leader blogged this week that its driverless car system now has the ability to cope with a multitude of city motoring factors that seemed almost impossible to overcome a couple of years ago.

Google is determined to have its driverless car technology ready in the next three years.

"We're growing more optimistic that we're heading toward an achievable goal - a vehicle that operates fully without human intervention," project director Chris Urmson wrote.

His post was the company's first official update since 2012 on progress towards a driverless car, a project within the company's secretive Google X lab.

Copyright Press Association 2014