The automated driving skill and the remaining problem that the reporter who entered Google's automatic driving car development site had a glimpse

The parent company that holds Google under its affiliationAlphabet"It is said that Google has moved the development department of automatic driving cars under its umbrella and established a system for future commercialization. I saw the scene of development in California and the fact that the reporter sitting in the "driver's seat" of the automated driving car actually saw and the prospects and problems for realizing the automatic driving car are told .

License to (Not) Drive - Backchannel - Medium

The state of the hangar where Google's automatic driving car was aligned with the slurry. For running experiments on an automated driving car, Google purchased 100 acres in CaliforniaTokyo DomeWe are renting the site of 8.5 pieces).

This site is a former Air Force facility located in Atwater, CaliforniaCastle Air Force Base"In the past, the airport airport was used as a private sector until what was used until the Cold War era. Google uses this site located 2½ hours from Google headquarters in Mountain View from 2014, and it is said that it is called "Catsle" inside the company.

Incidentally, it is believed that Apple, rumored to be developing automobiles in-house, is also developing at a vast driving test site in California.

It turns out that Apple is negotiating with a vast running test site for the development of a car, and the possibility to start driving is close - GIGAZINE

In fact, Google seems to be conducting a program to select staff who actually board an automatic driving car and monitor the development run, and Medium reporter Levy who heard this program got a hand at once . However, in order to participate in this program, it is necessary to receive training every day for 4 weeks. According to Google's decision this time Levy was allowed to participate in the program specially with a short training.

The purpose of this test drive program is "to accelerate development speed", and for that reason it is required to introduce more vehicles and staff to earn more time and distance. In the case of "LEXUS RX 450h" test vehicle modified from a commercial vehicle, two staff members are on one vehicle, one person judges the safety from the running state, and operates the steering wheel and the pedal at any time It is preparing to be able to shift from automatic operation to manual operation. And the other person is monitoring the screen of the laptop put on the knee and is given the responsibility to check the actual surrounding situation and the situation the automatic driving car knows and check whether there is a mistake I will.

The shortcut to get the seat of this test driver is to "get acquainted with someone who has already become a test driver." There seems to be personnel selection on introduction basis, but in addition to this, Google is clearly society clearly minded, says that he is looking for a keen observer.

The test course built in the site is like this. In addition to the large and small roads, intersections, roundabouts, etc. that are designed in the image of the suburbs of the United States, signals are also set up, and the situation just like the general road is being reproduced. Furthermore, slippery roads and entry and exit roads to expressways are also set up so that they can train in various situations and prepare to go out on the actual road.

In the first half of training, it is said that training is carried out in a relatively simple situation, but in the latter half there are also scenes where a person riding a bicycle appears.

In the warehouse adjacent to the course, accessories such as triangular cones, road signs, children's bicycles and passersby dolls are available. In addition, specialist staff called "professional pedestrians" may be introduced to reproduce the actual pedestrians. A woman serving as a professional pedestrian replied, "I will think that I have no choice but to trust" to the question "Do you have a fear of being run over by an automatic driving car?"

To test drive, Mr. Levy of course hoped to ride on the following types of vehicles that we developed from scratch for automatic driving cars exclusively for auto-driven cars, but it has been denied haphazardly. That should be that, as for this vehicle, only people with experience of boarding a sufficient automatic driver car are allowed to board, and Mr. Levy gives up inevitably.

Mr. Levy was forced to give up on Google's original vehicle, but he said he was able to board a vehicle based on the commercial Lexus RX 450h. Moreover, he seemed to be able to play the role of actually sitting in the driver's seat and running the vehicle instead of the passenger seat.

"Driver" who sits in the driver's seat does not actually touch the steering wheel or the pedal, basically it is necessary to monitor the running condition and to stand by so that the driver can take charge at any time in case of emergency . When switching from the automatic operation mode to the manual operation, "Disengage (release)" and say OK if you put it in the mouth. This "Disengage" includes "desirable (intentional)" for stopping the vehicle when taking a break or talking on the phone, and "undesired (undesired)" which inevitably cancels automatic operation in order to avoid danger There are two types of ").

A laptop is placed in front of the staff sitting in the front passenger seat. An interface called "x_view" is built in the notebook PC, and at that time, it is displayed in real time how the automatic operation "watching" the surrounding situation. On the screen are displayed not only road conditions but also all kinds of road conditions such as surrounding buildings, other vehicles, motorbike and pedestrians, and the route and expected course of the vehicle.

The staff at the front passenger seat is always in charge of comparing this screen with the actual situation of the road, and if it is determined that the computer is not correctly recognizing the situation, it is supposed to issue "Disengage" order . When Diengage is done while driving, pins are automatically set on the map and detailed report of the event will be required. At that time, "code" dedicated to various events is provided, for example, the code "#FOB" means "foreign object or debris" I am supposed to report the content of Disengage to Google along with it.

Also, Disengage 's method can be forcibly switched to manual operation with not only voice commands but also hardware buttons. On the center console located between the driver's seat and the passenger's seat, the following large red button "BRB(Big Red Button) has been installed, so that automatic operation can be surely canceled even in the unlikely event.

Based on the explanation from Google staff, Mr. Levy will sit in the driver's seat and enter the actual run. Although it is said to be "driver's seat", in fact it does not touch the steering wheel or the accelerator, it will be a drive only to watch the movement of the car going automatically. But when you can do Disengage, you need to put both hands at the 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock positions of the steering wheel and keep the foot on the brake pedal in a slightly touched position.

Mr. Levy seemed to be interested in showing the movement to enter the intersection before the car got up a little bit and got a yellow signal when entering the intersection while driving. In addition, it seems that the car itself seems to be doing what it is supposed to do, saying that the car itself accelerates by turning around the intersection, "I am clearly understanding what I am doing". Moreover, it stops with a red light, and the movement when it starts moving again after becoming a green light is also excellent. It is said that the movement of the automatic driving car is basically programmed to obtain Florida's driving license, but even if it turns into a green light, the car does not move immediately, it starts to move in 1.7 seconds It is said that there is. This means that it is a movement to avoid a collision with a car of a crossing lane entering the intersection which just turned red light.

However, on the other hand, he encountered a scene that shows a movement different from humans. In a situation where road construction is being done on the road shoulder, the movement of the car became extremely slow, and finally it got almost inoperable. Levy talked to "Disengage" to cancel automatic driving, and the staff aboard the passenger seat said that the situation was summarized in the report.

Mr. Levy who finished the test race described the impression that the automatic driving car officially debuts "It is 95% but the remaining 5% takes time". Under the current situation, it is still necessary for drivers to monitor the safety of traveling and the presence of passengers in the front passenger seat to confirm the accuracy of surrounding recognition, that Google is also aware of this, roads on which maps can not be mapped It seems that Mr. Levy's prospect that it will be ahead of the day when it is possible to run without any problem on all roads, considering that he was not very enthusiastic about driving.

But when I told Mr. Chris Urmson, development manager, that impression, "It is a misunderstanding" and a reply came back. It seems that some kind of awkward movements that I showed during test driving told us that Google's policy, which gives priority to safety, is reflected. Urmson asked Mr. Levy when "When do you get an automatic driving car?" Mr. Urmson replied "My son will be 16 years old (able to get a driver's license)". Mr. Urmson's son is now 12 years old, so it seems to be calculated that the automatic driving car will become a reality thing in four more years.

Mr. Levy who experienced automatic driving tries to find out where the danger is dangerous when trying to recognize the circumstances like a screen "x_view" of the notebook PC unknowingly while driving a car by himself He told me I realized myself. By doing so, it seems like I felt like I got better with my driving. However, on the other hand, I also noticed that judgments that can only be made by humans are left. Combining the impression of Ms. Levy, it seems that the appearance that "Development is advanced but it takes time to pack the last remaining part" appears well.

in Ride, Posted by darkhorse_log