A white Lexus hybrid SUV inches to the left, creating a slightly wider buffer as it passes a bicyclist in the bike lane on a busy and unseasonably hot Tuesday afternoon not far from Google’s headquarters in Silicon Valley.
If the car was being driven by a human, that would be no big deal — except to share-the-road advocates. But this is Google’s self-driving car we’re talking about, and that seemingly unremarkable maneuver turns out to be one of the highlights of a day spent with members of Google [X]’s Self-Driving Car Project team.
“People hate driving,” Self-Driving Project director Chris Urmson said at a press event held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., near Google’s headquarters. Once you get to work in the morning, “it takes 30 minutes to decompress from that jackass who cut you off.”