Google’s driverless cars designed to exceed speed limit
19 August, London: Google’s self-driving cars are programmed to exceed speed limits by up to 10mph (16km/h), according to the project’s lead software engineer.
Dmitri Dolgov told Reuters that when surrounding vehicles were breaking the speed limit, going more slowly could actually present a danger, and the Google car would accelerate to keep up.
Google’s driverless prototypes have been widely tested on roads in the US.
The UK will allow driverless cars on public roads from 2015.
Google first announced its driverless car division in 2010, and has been testing its technology in modified cars built by other manufacturers.
The cars have travelled on more than 300,000 miles of open road, mostly in California.
In May, the US tech firm said it would start building its own self-driving cars.
The bubble-shaped vehicles will seat two people, propulsion will be electric, and to begin with they will be limited to 25mph (40km/h) to help ensure safety.
In July, the UK government announced that driverless cars will be allowed on public roads from January next year.
In addition, ministers ordered a review of the UK’s road regulations to provide appropriate guidelines.
This will cover the need for self-drive vehicles to comply with safety and traffic laws, and involve changes to the Highway Code, which applies to England, Scotland and Wales.
In a separate development on Monday, the White House said it wanted all cars and light trucks to be equipped with technology that could prevent collisions.
Radio signals emitted by the vehicles would allow them to “talk” to each other, and alert drivers to potential accidents, BBC reports.