The Google car now knows when to honk

Google's self-driving car knows when to honk
Google's self-driving car knows when to honk

Some people on the road honk with a passion. Even if no vehicle or person or animal or object is in front of them, they imagine things and honk. Sometimes they don’t even have to imagine, they just honk. So if you don’t hear honking on the road, things seem unnatural.

Considering this, Google has taught its self-driving car to honk, but only when needed. Although most of the self-driving cars from Google and other companies are quite noiseless and quietly go about their affairs, sometimes it is helpful if there is a small honk to let people know that the car is approaching the area, especially when taking a turn or overtaking another, slower vehicle ahead. It is also polite to honk, as the Google report says, “Our self-driving cars aim to be polite, considerate, and only honk when it makes driving safer for everyone. During testing, we taught our vehicles to distinguish between potentially tricky situations and false positives, i.e. the difference between a car facing the wrong way during a three-point turn, and one that’s about to drive down the wrong side of the road.”

Since Google likes to play it safe when it comes to its self-driving cars, the honks were first tested inside so that only engineers riding inside the car could hear the honks. When they were pretty sure that the self-driving car was not being mischievous they let it honk to the outside world.

I was wondering how would a self-driving car run on Indian roads. Not only our roads are notorious (although they are improving with great speed) even our drivers are notorious. Breaking rules on the road isn’t looked down upon, it is something to brag about. So suddenly if there is a self-driving car honking at you, are you going to get a fit of road rage? Whom are you going to fight with?

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About Amrit Hallan
Amrit Hallan is the founder of He writes about technology not because "he loves to write about technology", he actually believes that it makes the world a better place. On Twitter you can follow him at @amrithallan

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