At last, another Minority Report technology finding its way to fruition. Google today finally realized that you can’t be online every second of the day and especially not when you’re on your way to work every morning. So what’s the Web’s biggest company to do? Create cars that are able to drive themselves.
In a blog entry, Sebastian Thrun, one of Google’s “Distinguished Software Engineers,” reveals that they have developed and are currently testing a technology that lets cars drive themselves. With the help of “video cameras, radar sensors and laser range finders, and detailed maps (Google Maps?),” Thrun says they have successfully made their automated autos run from their HQ in Mountain View California to other places with no incident whatsoever. Tech site Mashable reports that “the only accident that has occurred so far: One of the cars was rear-ended by a driver at a stop light. A human error!” As of this publishing, the cars have collectively logged over 140,000 miles.
Thrun believes that a massive deployment of the technology could help cut road accidents by as much as 50%. That is, if it will able to smash through countless legal roadblocks that are on its way. But with such promise and with Google’s power to persuade us all, there’s a good chance we’ll see this happen within this lifetime.
While autopilot technology is basically an up-yours to the human driver, Google believes that being able to do productive stuff in the car instead of just cursing and flipping the bird at fellow drivers, is beneficial enough. Street racers and adrenaline junkies, however, are sure to disagree.
What about you? Do you think the world’s drivers are ready to hang up their driving shoes in favor of the “highway trains of tomorrow?”