Google’s autonomous cars can detect cyclists


Technology giant and autonomous car hopefuls Google claim to have produced a system where their driverless car can detect a cyclist’s hand signals so they know where they are going.

This would reduce the likelihood of a crash and help to make the idea of autonomous cars on normal roads become more realistic.

As the world aims to make roads safer for everyone, bike lanes have been added to accommodate cyclists, but in the USA alone in 2014, 720 cyclists were killed and over 50,000 were injured.

After being tested on a closed test course, the sensors were able to detect subjects on the road and the company hope the vehicles will ‘drive conservatively’ around cyclists.

In their monthly driverless car report, Google said, “When our sensors detect a parallel-parked car with an open door near a cyclist, our car is programmed to slow down or nudge over to give the rider enough space to move towards the center of the lane and avoid the door.

“We also aim to give cyclists ample buffer room when we pass, and our cars won’t squeeze by when cyclists take the center of the lane, even if there’s technically enough space.”

According to the firm, the 360-degree sensors can detect any shape or size of bicycle and cyclist and in tests the driverless cars could detect 100 subjects cycling around them so it wouldn’t hit them.

The autonomous vehicles use Lidar, cameras and radar sensors to detect other objects in its vicinity and what gestures cyclists are making to indicate their direction.

Jack Evans


After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.

July 11, 2016

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