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LOS ANGELES (AP) - Google said it has turned a corner in its pursuit of a car that can drive itself.

The leader of the tech giant's driverless car project wrote in a blog post Monday that test vehicles are becoming far more adept at city driving. They already can comfortably handle freeways.

City driving presents a virtual obstacle course of jaywalkers, bicyclists and blind corners. Google said the cars can now negotiate thousands of urban situations that would have stumped them a year or two ago.

To navigate and avoid crashes, Google's fleet of retrofitted Lexus SUVs relies on sensors such as lasers and radar. A driver is ready to take over - if needed.

Google wants to get the technology to the public by 2017.

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