Google said its self-driving cars are being embraced with the requisite ability to honk on their own when needed.
So far, the horn used to be audible only on the inside of the car. It allowed Google to tabulate the scenarios that made the car to honk. With the detailed information available so far, Google engineers further fine-tuned the software so that the brains behind the car now have a better understanding of the exact scenarios that warrant pressing the horn button.
“Our goal is to teach our cars to honk like a patient, seasoned driver. As we become more experienced honkers, we hope our cars will also be able to predict how other drivers respond to a beep in different situations,” said Google.
Google though isn’t just stopping at that and is further categorizing the scenarios where the car would be emitting sounds of different intensities depending on the situation. For instance, a car that is on a slow reverse and risks hitting the Google car will be warned with “two short, quieter pips,” Google wrote in its monthly driverless car report.
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However, a ‘loud, sustained honk’ is deemed necessary to deal with more urgent situations, such as warning another vehicle or a pedestrian that might have suddenly trudged onto the car’s tracks.
That is not all as Google is further equipping its driverless cars with more qualities to create different sounds as per the situation. For instance, the car will be able to ‘purr’ or ‘rev’ just as its counterparts with combustion engines can. It will serve to alert pedestrians of its presence and is being seen as a means to avoid accidents in future.
Overall, while there might be lots of cars out there that are still learning the nuances of self-driving on real roads, Google might be the first to provide its cars with the necessary intelligence to be able to sound the horn when needed.