Google Self-Driving Car Takes Blind Man To Taco Bell

    March 28, 2012
    Chris Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

Google uploaded a video of a self-driving car test, showing Steve Mahan, a legally blind man behind the wheel, and stopping at Taco Bell for a burrito.

Google says in the video description, “We announced our self-driving car project in 2010 to make driving safer, more enjoyable, and more efficient. Having safely completed over 200,000 miles of computer-led driving, we wanted to share one of our favorite moments. Here’s Steve, who joined us for a special drive on a carefully programmed route to experience being behind the wheel in a whole new way. We organized this test as a technical experiment, but we think it’s also a promising look at what autonomous technology may one day deliver if rigorous technology and safety standards can be met.”

“95% of my vision is gone. I’m well past legally blind,” says Mahan in the video. “You lose your timing in life. Everything takes you much longer. There are some places that you cannot go. There are some things that you cannot do. Where this would change my life is to give me the independence and the flexibility to go to the places I both want to go and need to go when I need to do those things.”

At the end of the video, it says it was produced in partnership with Morgan Hill Police Department and Santa Clara Valley Blind Center San Jose, CA.

As reported earlier this month, Google’s driverless cars have inspired new legislation in California, similar to legislation introduced last year in Nevada, which legalized autonomous cars, clearing the way for Google’s program. It’s actually kind of hard to believe this program has already gotten so far, but there’s no telling how far it will actually go, if enough legislation gets passed in other states, and eventually countries.

I have a feeling we’ll be seeing Google put out a lot more videos similar in nature to the one above, to promote the company’s efforts.

  • http://www.seowebwatch.com Jim Jinright

    I think that a self driving car is one of the greatest inventions of all time. It would certainly solve a lot of problems for the elderly or folks with disabilities.

    • http://www.TheOkayNetwork.com Steve G

      Not just that but no more drunk driving accidents or falling asleep at the wheel, speeding tickets, most traffic accidents. However it would put a lot of truck drivers out of work.

  • http://www.webpronews.com/author/chris-crum Chris Crum

    Let’s just hope they’re not too easy to hack.

  • http://www.boedickermarketing.net Chris Boedicker

    That is amazing information, I’m not too sure that I like the idea of a car driving itself. On the other hand it would free me up to do something in the car when I’m driving, like talking on my cell phone. I really like this site, I will bookmark this and I will return for more information. Money Wizard

  • Schnurrbart

    This is obviously after the Zombie Apocalypse. There are no cars or people left on the streets. The only food not eaten or hoarded is Taco Bell.

  • Damian

    That car is a shitty parker. Other than that…pretty cool.

    • tomdahm

      that said, IT’S A CAR THAT DRIVES ITSELF… 😀 omgomgomg

  • http://www.yomadic.com Nate @yomadic

    This technology will change the world. I can’t wait.

  • Pee Gee

    Interesting idea… but to suggest that blind or drunk people would be safe in it on their own with no sighted/capacitated co-pilot is absurd. What happens when tyre blows out or brakes fail, or other eventuality arises? Driver would need total faith in the car system to handle every and any eventuality… and that would be ‘blind faith’ judging by the problems which can arise in the car industry in these days of electronic systems (e.g. Ref Toyota/Lexus throttle problem in past few years…)! Nuff said…