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Google has taught its autonomous cars proper honking etiquette



Google’s autonomous cars have been taught to beep their horns to ward off dangerous situations.

In the firm’s monthly progress report, Google explained how its vehicles know to honk to alert other road users.

In the May 2016 report, the company said it has friendly “quiet two pips” to give drivers a heads up and full-on “loud sustained honk” when the situation is more emergent.

“Our self-driving cars are designed to see 360 degrees, unlike human drivers, who are not always fully away of their surroundings,” the report (via CNET Roadshow) explains.

Our self-driving software is designed to recognise when honking may help alert other drivers to our presence - for example, when a driver begins swerving into our lane or backing out of a blind driveway.”

Related: Best self-driving car tech from the Geneva Motor Show

The system has also learned how to identify false positives, meaning fellow drivers won’t get the horn just for temporarily facing the wrong way while performing a three-point turn.

Each time the car beeps, the human co-drivers behind the wheel will offer feedback on whether it was appropriate, much like the average British passenger seat driver.

Right now, the potential appropriate use of the horn seems to be the most compelling argument to fill our roads and highways with Google’s autonomous vehicles.

Oh, and the cutting down on accidents, and never having to mess with Apple Maps and relaxing during commutes and never having to worry about driving under the influence. That stuff is great too.

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