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Google’s self-driving car getting smarter in the city

Google says its self driving car is getting alot smarter and safer as the company continues refining its fleet of automated vehicles.

The technology has been well tested on rural roads. But the head of Google’s self-driving-car project says they’ve made great headway in operating in city environments.

“A mile of city driving is much more complex than a mile of freeway driving, with hundreds of different objects moving according to different rules of the road in a small area,” Chris Urmson said Monday in a blog post.

Urmson said engineers have improved the software to recognize situations like pedestrian traffic, buses, stop signs held by crossing guards and hand signals made by cyclists.

“A self-driving vehicle can pay attention to all of these things in a way that a human physically can’t—and it never gets tired or distracted.”

If you want to hear more about the technology behind the driverless car, check out a TED Talk by engineer Sebastian Thrun here.

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Josh Kerns

Josh Kerns is an award winning reporter on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM. He covers everything from May Day riots in Seattle to the latest Boeing news. Email Josh at


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