Google joins panel discussion about future of self-driving cars

Google self-driving car

Representatives from Google, Toyota and Texas Instruments met on Capitol Hill on April 10 to discuss the development of self-driving vehicles, USA Today reported.

The companies were part of a panel discussion sponsored by the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation.

The vehicles still need to meet certain federal regulations before they are available to consumers.

There are also regulatory issues, like placing responsibility for accidents.

“If an automated vehicle goes through a stoplight, who’s responsible? The question is identifying who the driver is,” said Jason Schultz of Toyota Motor Sales.

However, Chris Urmson, an engineer for Google’s Self-Driving Car Program, said these vehicles have the potential to be available in the next five years. Urmson said Google has tested several prototypes that have been successful.

Google’s self-driving vehicles feature intelligent transportation systems (ITS), allowing the vehicle to sense pedestrians, stop lights and other surroundings from every angle.

There is no estimate yet on how much the self-driving vehicles might cost consumers once they are available, but the cost of the latest equipment is about $150,000.