By on April 16, 2012

Google looks to be stepping their whip game up with the addition of a lexus RX450h. Joining the fleet of Prii is the luxury crossover, which Wired Magazine’s Damon Lavrinc discovered thanks to a tipster. According to Wired, Google claims that

“In the course of our work, we experiment with testing our algorithms on various vehicles to help us improve our technology,”

Which is a fancy way of saying “we got a Lexus for R&D reasons”. Lavrinc notes that the new car was spotted just days after California passed a bill mandating regulations for autonomous vehicle testing. If someone could explain to us why the Lexus has no license plates, that would be a start.

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4 Comments on “Google Adds Lexus RX450h To Autonomous Vehicle Fleet...”

  • avatar

    Around here, new cars are often missing their plates.

    What would be the impact on congestion of a fleet that was 100% self-guided? Would the cars be able to adapt to congested conditions and keep heavy traffic moving swiftly? That alone would make self-guided cars worthwhile.

    • 0 avatar

      If not swiftly, traffic would at least be moving smoothly. No stop-and-go BS. Take anything that involves a human reaction time out of the equation. There are clearly time and energy efficiency advantages, but does that necessarily mean we will drive less and consume less energy in transportation?

      Today it is hard to fully grasp what a 100% self-guided fleet would be like. I feel that 100% (or even 90%) self-guided, private, individual transportation is so far off in the future that it is difficult to really determine the comprehensive impact. Who knows how we will get around in 20, 30 or 50 years from now? It is easy to fall into the trap of imagining mass self-guided transit as applied to today’s infrastructure.

  • avatar

    You don’t have to have a plate for six months in California. Steve Jobs’ Mercedes never had one because he leased for six months and turned it in for the next one.

  • avatar

    In California, the plates go with the car, not the owner. There’s a long wait for the actual metal bits.

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