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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RE: Decisions for fanboys....
5/30/2014 1:02:44 PM
Cost has always been an issue for safety.
Fire suppression hardware to cover an entire house is very expensive, and the dangers amount to ~$7.2B in damage and 2600 deaths per year:
Furthermore, fire suppression can only mitigate costs of fire, not actively prevent them.
Driving accidents, OTOH, account for $277B in damage, 30,000+ deaths and millions of injuries per year. Total economic cost is $871B/yr:
Divide that per car, then multiply by lifetime, and you're looking at $50k+ without even considering loss of life. The raw hardware already costs a fraction of that.
You're gonna have to come up with a better comparison than fire suppression to downplay the potential safety impact of automated driving.
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