If you want to know just about everything related to Google’s self driving car effort than this article in The Atlantic is a must read, but I caution you it’s a long one. The author claims to be the first to get an inside look at how the car performs in a complex urban environment.
Thanks to Bill Gutelius at Active Imaging for pointing out that the system relies on prior knowledge of the street network to operate more quickly, efficiently and certainly SAFELY negotiate the environment and that is where LiDAR comes in.
It’s much like UASs, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when these vehicles will be commonplace. I think it will be within five years in specific locations.