Google’s Homemade Self-Driving Cars to Hit Roads This Summer

recode | May 15, 2015

By Mark Bergen

Here’s something that irks Chris Urmson: Sometimes people will get in self-driving cars, the spectacularly complex piece of technology he runs at Google and to which he has devoted most of his scientific career, and leave with a shrug.

Once, Urmson was riding in one of Google’s Lexus SUVs down a freeway. Several minutes in, his fellow passenger turned to him, nonplussed.

“That’s it?”

Urmson, recalling the story on Google’s Mountain View campus earlier this week, threw up his hands: “Do you have any idea how hard this is?!”

Soon, there may be many more blasé reactions to one of Google’s most audacious moonshots. On Friday, the Internet giant announced that the first autonomous vehicle it has manufactured — a squat two-seater, unveiled a year ago, with no steering wheel or brakes — will begin rolling out on public roads in northern California this summer.

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