If you live in California, be on the lookout for a small car going 25 MPH, and quite possibly without anyone in the driver seat. Yes, Google announced this week that they would be test driving their highly experimental and rather futuristic self-driving car in the California area. What’s most interesting about this innovative method of travel is just how autonomous they appear to be. While the prototypes do have steering wheels just in case of early malfunctions, it’s presumed to have no controls needed once the car is in full working mode.
Drivers will be able to sit back, relax, and let their car take them wherever they need to go. This will ideally free up drivers to do what they’re already doing anyway: Texting and surfing the internet on their smartphones. With Google’s self-driving car, there will be no immediate danger in drivers who can’t keep their eyes on the road, because the car will have absolutely everything under control.
How self-driving cars handle in traffic and with other self-driving cars is still in the early developmental stages. The intention behind the motorized vehicle is to give everybody a break, sure, but it’s also to make things a little safer on the road. It’ll be interesting to see how the self-driving car handles itself in an immediate, emergency situation. Since an advanced super computer will be in control, it’s safe to assume there will be a multitude of calculations going on mere moments before an automated decision is made.
Those fearing for safety have nothing to worry about. Google is miles away from unveiling the self-driving car to the general public. Safety concerns and issues will be addressed and taken care of in production, we can safely assume. Something to get excited about would be the abundance of free time you’ll get. You could cross the country in less than two days, because you can sleep the whole way. It’s like a train but no tracks, and much more comfortable.
Time will tell just how effective and costly such luxuries will turn out to be. What we can say for now is that the future is here, and it’s loud and clear, that technology is constantly getting better for our own benefit. Now if only we could get one of those flying cars we were promised by popular science-fiction!