In 2004, DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) conducted competitions for various vehicles that were visited by various researchers as a contestant from university labs, car manufacturers, and businesses.
One of the companies which was very much impressed by the competition and the idea was Google and hence the interest got generated into a strong initiative resulting in recruiting two winners directly for Google’s driverless navigation program.
Google announced in 2012 that more than 300,000 miles of testing have been completed by its autonomous vehicle. A major achievement was to achieve it without any accidents.
The DARPA course also helped Google to identify what is needed to improve autonomous vehicles in terms of software where a multitude of scenarios are involved with everyday driving. 700,000 miles was completed with Google’s vehicles where the company announced that the revised software was better in handling driving in the city. The software developed by Google was able to detect diverse objects in hundreds of numbers simultaneously from pedestrians to cyclists.
Sources:- Elizabeth Arentz, Driving Miss Lazy.