In an unbelievable and unprecedented move, Google has obtained a legal license to operate cars that have everything…but a human driver! The human element has been subtracted in Google’s “autonomous vehicles”, cars that can drive on Nevada’s roadways Kitt style (think Knight Rider)! Is anyone else creeped out just a bit?
I am not entirely certain I am ready to substitute a human chauffeur for a machine just yet…or if we should ever allow our exotic car rentals to be driven by a machine, but the good people at Google just may be onto something for larger cities. VIDEO AT BOTTOM OF POST
Look Ma, no hands! The big payoff arrived when Nevada issued Google the legal go-ahead to drive among the masses. Watch out, professional chauffeurs—Google may soon have your jobby-job!
So far, Google’s empty cars only have clearance in Nevada…but with the company’s appetite for growth (invasion, if you will), how long before they swarm the states? What began with email has hit the road…without us!
How did the Silicon Valley tech giant manage to convince Nevada to let it unleash cars sans humans on public roads? Let us start with the objective, snagged from Google X founder Sebastian Thrun in a 2010 entry on the Google official blog.
In Thrun’s words, the self-driving vehicle project aims “to help prevent traffic accidents, free up people’s time and reduce carbon emissions by fundamentally changing car use.” He added that the “automated cars use video cameras, radio sensors and a laser range finder to ‘see’ other traffic, as well as detailed maps … to navigate the road ahead.”
To make the squeamish feel better, while there is no driver needed, one is typically in the front seat ready to take control if the need arises. Hey, let’s face it…Google’s automated cars are likely superior to 3/4ths of America’s drivers. Not convinced? Think about all of those 16 year old girls with smartphones and intoxicating hormones at the wheel next to you. Starting to come around?
Google has safely completed over 200,000 miles of computer-led driving
While Google is the first to accomplish this shocking task–that just means that others are not far behind! Will Progressive be offering the “No driver discount” in the foreseeable future? Flo will let us know!
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