Google’s head of self-driving tech: We’re not building a car, we’re building the driver

For Google, developing an ideal driver also means creating a suite of sensors and software that can be used to drive everywhere, regardless of the make or model of the vehicle. “It doesn’t matter,” Dolgov said. “We’re building a driver. We’ve been on Prius, Lexus; we have our own prototype, and we’re now working with Fiat Chrysler on a new platform. “As far as the software is concerned, it’s the same thing,” he continued. “It’s like you getting into another car. You get a rental — maybe it’s a little bit bigger, and it doesn’t quite handle the same way as your own car. It takes you time to get used to, but the core tasks transfer.” Unlike a human driver, however, Google’s cars use a combination of maps and long-range laser and regular radars that enable the car to see at least 100 meters around it, while also knowing what turns, traffic lights and roads to expect well before it detects them.