Google added recently a black Lexus RX450h to its self-driving-vehicle fleet, spotted on the road for testing in Southern California.
After the Toyota Prius, it is now time for something more luxurious, a Lexus RX450h hybrid SUV. The new roof-mounted sensor array seems significantly more streamlined than the gear found on the company’s autonomous Toyota Prius models. Google declared that it is continuously testing its driving algorithms on a wide range of vehicles in order to refine the technology, and that the RX450h is far from being the last model in this process. Google began its work under the supervision of Dr. Sebastian Thrun, the director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and a Google engineer who co-invented the Street View mapping service.
In 2010 Google began to release these driverless cars onto public streets using a fleet comprised of six Prius hybrids and one Audi TT. The company’s ‘experiments’ spurred the California legislature to pass a bill requiring the California Highway Patrol to outline safety standards for autonomous vehicles. The legislation passed the state’s Senate Transportation Committee and heads now towards the Senate Rules Committee. Nevada was the first to pass a similar law.