Yeah, so I’m stretching the definition of “mobile tech” quite a bit here. Hopefully you’ll indulge me this one time—I just think this is really cool.
This past Tuesday saw the unveiling of the first original build of Google’s self-driving car. It’s entirely electric, with no gear shift, pedals or even a steering wheel. It’s currently limited to 25mph and that’s probably a good thing, at least for now. For the future it promises a solution to the most irritating and often dangerous aspect of driving: the driver.
Here’s the three-minute demo uploaded to the Google Self-Driving Car Project YouTube Channel:
Full disclosure: this urban-dwelling, non-car-owning techno-utopian is 100% on-board with the idea of autonomous cars. I firmly believe that the worst part of traffic is the irritable and distracted people behind the wheel, myself included.
I can appreciate the Big Brother aspects of this technology; it would probably suck if, for example, your insurance company had the power to block your vehicle from starting in the case of inclement weather. But if executed correctly I think that the benefits would be too great to dismiss—drivers in heavy traffic would be freed up to be productive, and also prevented from doing the stupid things that drivers in heavy traffic do.
In fact, I’ve really only seen one legitimate criticism of Google’s self-driving car project, via this post on Imgur:
Can’t argue with that. 😎 … Are you ready for a future with autonomous cars?