So we have developed technology for cars that can drive themselves. Our automated cars, manned by trained operators, just drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe.
It's quite impressive work; Google apparently hired a number of people who have been working on the Darpa Challenges, a multi-year DoD-sponsored effort to build autonomous vehicles.
And Google claim that they have been careful:
Safety has been our first priority in this project. Our cars are never unmanned. We always have a trained safety driver behind the wheel who can take over as easily as one disengages cruise control.
Still, people will talk. And, by keeping it a secret until now, aren't Google in some ways rather inviting such criticism?
Meanwhile, where do I go to learn more about the software aspects? (Yes, that's me: always the software geek.)