Wednesday — April 24, 2013
Pacific Forum — 3:00 p.m.
Self-driving cars have the potential to transform how we move: they promise to make us safer, give freedom to millions of people who can't drive, and give people back their time. The Google Self-Driving car project was created to rapidly advance autonomous driving technology and build on previous research. For the past four years, we've been working to make cars that drive reliably on many types of roads. We've now driven over half a million miles autonomously. In this talk, I'll describe our overall approach to solving the driving problem, the capabilities of the car, our progress so far, and the challenges we face.
Nathaniel Fairfield is a technical lead on Google's self-driving car team. He works on special projects, and led the engineering effort behind the "Self Driving Car Test: Steve Mahan" video on youtube. Dr. Fairfield received his PhD from the Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute where he worked on robots that explore and map complex 3D environments, like flooded caves in Mexico. Before that, he worked at Bluefin Robotics, in Cambridge Massachusetts, building robots that map the ocean floor.