Sebastian Thrun helped build Google’s amazing driverless car, powered by a very personal quest to save lives and reduce traffic accidents. Jawdropping video shows the DARPA Challenge-winning car motoring through busy city traffic with no one behind the wheel, and dramatic test drive footage from TED2011 demonstrates how fast the thing can really go.


Watch the TED talk, listen carefully and answer the questions below:


Comprehension Questions

  1. How old was his he when his friend was killed?


  1. Who issued a prize to build a self navigating car that could navigate a desert?


  1. How many miles did he drive?


  1. What was the name of his friend who was killed?


  1. How many minutes a day do we spend in traffic?



Gap – fill

Watch the video again from 01:17 to 01:54 and fill in the blanks:


Since, our work has (6) _________ on building driving cars that can drive anywhere by themselves — any street in (7) ___________. We’ve driven 140,000 miles. Our cars have (8) ________ by which they magically can see everything around them and make decisions about every aspect of driving. It’s the perfect (9) _________ mechanism. We’ve driven in cities, like in San Francisco here. We’ve (10) ________ from San Francisco to Los Angeles on Highway 1.



True or False?

Listen to the material again and answer true or false to the following statements:


  1. He decided to dedicate his life to saving 2 million people every year.


  1. He won Stanford 2 million dollars.


  1. They have driven form San Francisco to Los Angeles on highway 1.


  1. Driving accidents are the number two cause of death for your people.


  1. 2.4 billion gallons of gasoline are wasted.





  1. 18
  2. the U.S government
  3. 140,000 miles
  4. Harold
  5. 52 minutes
  6. focussed
  7. California
  8. sensors
  9. perfect
  10. driven
  11. (F) its one million
  12. (T)

13 (T)

14 (F) they are the number one cause

15 (T)