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Humanizing Tech

"Exclusive: Close-Up Photos of Google’s Self-Driving Car" in Humanizing Tech

You’ll be surprised at the interior

I. Google’s Self-Driving Car

One of our readers sent along some spy shots of the Google self-driving car that you may have seen motoring about the Californian streets. He would have liked to take more, but a gaurd stopped our friend from taking any more.

Below are the original shots. You’ll notice on the interior photo, I’ve covered up a small portion in black. This is to remove identifying information from our source.

II. The Body & Interior

The body style looks very close to Fiat’s electric car, but from the front you can easily see it’s smiling face. Two eyes. A nose in the middle. And cheeks complete with red lipstick.

The most striking thing you’ll notice from the interior shot is that there’s no place for a driver. There are only two “back seats” complete with cup holders and window controls. The front just looks like an emergency, red stop button with a barrier separating the passengers from the front.

III. Google[X]’s Executive Departures

Last week some surprising news hit the wires. The first was a Bloomberg interview with John Krafcik, the head of Google’s self driving car unit. Then, a few days later, was the surprising news that three senior executives were leaving the project:

  • Chris Urmson: CTO & Technical Lead after 7 years, who’s looking for another obsession-indusing project.
  • Jiajun Zhu: Founder & Principle Software Engineer, who’s working on another startup after 8 years on the team.
  • Dave Ferguson: Software Lead, who was on the team for over 5 years and is now working on a stealth machine learning and robotics startup.

There were also two other founding members who recently left the project:

  • Sebastian Thrun: Founder, left two years ago to start Udacity.
  • Anthony Lewandowski, Founder, left at the beginning of 2016 to start Otto, a self-driving trucking startup.

That’s 5 of the original team who have left Google’s self-driving car team. Could all of these departures be because deep learning for autonomous cars is hitting a brick wall? We think so and will be writing more about this in the coming weeks.

If our reader’s have more insights to share with us, please feel free to email us. We keep everything anonymous by default unless permission is given to share specific things.

— Sean

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Exclusive: Close-Up Photos of Google’s Self-Driving Car was originally published in Humanizing Tech on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Read the responses to this story on Medium.



from Stories by Sean Everett on Medium http://ift.tt/2aWfbqy