A software developer’s perspective on Google’s self-driving cars

One of the most interesting sessions at last month’s Embedded Linux Conference in San Francisco was a keynote presentation about the technologies, capabilities, and challenges associated with Google’s self-driving cars, which have now traversed some 400,000 miles on public roadways. Think of it as “Prius meets The Matrix.”

In the 25 minute video, Andrew Chatham, a senior staff engineer at Google, examines Google’s self-driving cars from a system and software developer’s perspective. He describes various technical considerations and challenges, and shows what the car’s Ubuntu-powered onboard ???brain??? ???sees??? as it deftly navigates through its computer-generated 3D virtual environment – avoiding pedestrians who unexpectedly cross its path, dodging an oncoming truck on a narrow winding mountain road, and at one point getting trapped in an endless loop at a roundabout. What happens if a car mistakenly enters a freeway from an offramp?

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