Google expects public in driverless cars in 2 to 5 years

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A Google self-driving car goes on a test drive. | AP file photo

DETROIT — The head of self-driving cars for Google expects real people to be using them on public roads in two to five years.

Chris Urmson says the cars would still be test vehicles, and Google would collect data on how they interact with pedestrians and other vehicles.

Google is working on sensors to detect road signs and other vehicles, and software that analyzes all the data. The small, bulbous cars without steering wheels or pedals are being tested at a Google facility in California.

Urmson wouldn’t give a date for putting driverless cars on roads en masse, saying that the system has to be safe enough to work properly.

He tells an automotive conference in Detroit that Google doesn’t know yet how it will make money on the cars.

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