Google Develops Its Own Self-Driving Car; No Driver or Steering Wheel Required
May 28, 2014 8:56 AM
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Google X's self-driving car currently has a top speed of 25 mph
Google previous efforts in the self-driving car realm have involved
retrofitting existing manufactures’ vehicles
. For example, Google currently maintains a self-driving fleet that includes vehicles like the Lexus RX 450h and the Toyota Prius.
However, Google’s latest self-driving car comes from its own skunkworks group:
. Google X, which previously developed
smart contact lenses that monitor glucose levels for diabetics
, is headed by Google co-founder Sergey Brin.
The early electric vehicle (EV) prototypes have a top speed of 25 mph, don’t have a steering wheel, and reminds us of a full-size “
.” The interior basically consists of two seats, two seat belts, a display screen that shows the preprogrammed destination, and not much else. But of course, this is just the early prototype stage to test the viability of such a vehicle; so future variants will definitely spruce things up a bit.
Google’s hope for the future is to take humans completely out of the equation when it comes to traffic accidents.
According to Google
, 1.2 million people die worldwide from traffic accidents involving motor vehicles. Of those, 90 percent are caused by human error.
Official Google Blog
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This is the future probably in the next 20-30 years
5/29/2014 5:25:08 PM
I am amazed that for a tech site that a lot of folks seem to believe this technology won't work. Google's test cars have already racked up over 700,000 miles in testing which is well over what most folks drive in a lifetime and they've managed to do it without a single accident or a traffic ticket! It's like saying that there's no way cruise control will ever work. It's also pretty telling when the only collisions that ever happened are from the engineer turning off the robot system and crashing the cars manually. Google's so confident, they're willing to foot the bill in collisions as well. As far as electronics, almost all cars today are drive by wire so in a sense we're already trusting electronics to work.
Personally I would love this technology for long trips, then you can take naps and do other more fun things. Or if you had a long day at work and you couldn't be bothered to drive. Lay back, enjoy a drink and play a mobile game.
Where this will cause problems is in social implications. There wouldn't be as much of a need for truck drivers, cabbies. It would put a lot of folks out of work. It would also change things for enthusiast drivers who would likely need to pay more for the privilege to drive because a human drive is more likely to make an error compared to a computer.
"Well, we didn't have anyone in line that got shot waiting for our system." -- Nintendo of America Vice President Perrin Kaplan
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