On The Road With Google’s Self-Driving Car
Videos of Google’s self-driving vehicle have hit the tubes, and it’s pretty clear, the future is upon us. Does this mean flying cars and city-wide transport tubes are next? Though we’re still a few years away from breakthroughs of that magnitude, we’re getting awfully close to “Johnny Cab” levels of transportation.
In case you aren’t familiar, Google debuted these automated vehicles in 2010 and it uses, among other things, cameras to navigate the busy streets. The idea behind Google’s foray into the automated automobiles stems from safety concerns. Simply put, Google wants to do its part to reduce the amount of lives lost due to vehicular mishaps.
Further details about the project are available at Google’s blog.
Over at Search Engine Land, Danny Sullivan was invited to observe a demonstration of Google’s auto car, and was also allowed to take video of the adventures, including footage from inside the
robot vehicle. These videos appear below:
The demo was given at the TED 2011 conference, and it was overseen by the lead developer of the automated vehicle project, Sebastian Thrun. According to Sullivan, a safety driver was along for the demonstration, but the once the trip around the obstacle course begins, the car is driving itself.
I, for one, welcome our new robot vehicular overlords — especially if they play any part in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.