The roughly three-mile ride we took around Mountain View in Google’s self-driving car was so impressive it was kind of boring. With the exception of a few jerky maneuvers, the car drove just like an experienced human. So really it was kind of like being driven by a teenager who got his license a few weeks ago. The modified Lexus RX350h is covered in laser, camera, and radar systems, but those aren’t the only things that make it more advanced than any other autonomous car technology that’s come before it. The key advantage is that the car isn’t just seeing and figuring out the world as it drives along. It’s basing its actions on vast amounts of data the Google Self-Driving Car Project has already compiled about every road it travels. Before the car drives itself into new territory, the project team collects detailed information on permanent features.