by Andrew Dalton

Over the weekend, a Google software engineer announced on the company's blog that the Big G has been testing autonomously-driven vehicles all over California's highways and byways. You may have even spotted one cruising the streets of San Francisco as the fleet of modified Priuses (of course!) logged over 140,000 miles without a human driver.

Naturally when you let a computer do the driving you're free to take in the views, so Google engineers allowed their hybrids to carry them across the span of the Golden Gate Bridge, through the twists of Lombard Street, around the perimeter of Lake Tahoe and down the Pacific Coast Highway (which, despite the sublime beauty of Big Sur in the Fall, sounds pretty terrifying to us.) So far though, none of the vehicles have managed to flatten a tourist or drive an engineer off a cliff - the only accident occurred when one of the Priuses was rear-ended by a human driver who was probably doing something dumb like trying to get a cellphone video of the curiously-modified hybrids. In case you're wondering: yes, there's still a human behind the wheel in case something goes terribly wrong and California police were apparently OK with the tests, but what do you guys think? Will you be calling shotgun with the GOOG anytime soon?

[GoogleBlog] via [Valleywag]