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Google’s driverless cars are mastering city streets

Google’s driverless cars are mastering city streets

GOOGLE:n this Sept. 25, 2012, file photo, Google co-founder Sergey Brin gestures after riding in a driverless car with officials, to a bill signing for driverless cars at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google engineers say they have turned a corner in their pursuit of creating a car that can drive itself. Test cars have been able to navigate freeways comfortably for a few years. On Monday, April 28, Google said the cars can now negotiate thousands of urban situations that would have stumped them a year or two ago. Photo: Associated Press/Eric Risberg

JUSTIN PRITCHARD, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Google says it has turned a corner in its pursuit of a car that can drive itself.

The leader of the tech giant’s driverless car project wrote in a blog post Monday that test vehicles are becoming far more adept at city driving. They already can comfortably handle freeways.

City driving presents a virtual obstacle course of jaywalkers, bicyclists and blind corners. Google says the cars can now negotiate thousands of urban situations that would have stumped them a year or two ago.

To navigate and avoid crashes, Google’s fleet of retrofitted Lexus SUVs relies on sensors such as lasers and radar. A driver is ready to take over — if needed.

Google wants to get the technology to the public by 2017.

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