Google has made a lot of headlines with its self-driving cars. Last week, they put out the following video, showing one of the cars driving a blind man to Taco Bell:
With that video, Google said its cars had completed over 200,000 miles of safe driving.
Then over the weekend, Google announced its April Fool’s joke Google Racing (which doesn’t seem all that far fetched). This essentially equated to Google’s self-driving cars being tested for NASCAR, potentially eliminating drivers from the sport. Google co-founder Sergey Brin even got in on the fun:
“As you might have guessed, Google Racing is an April Fools joke brought to you by Google and NASCAR,” Google said. “And while we won’t be providing self-driving cars to compete in the races, we look forward to working with NASCAR on future projects.”
The cars themselves are certainly no joke. They’ve already been legalized in Nevada, and California recently introduced similar legislation:
According to New Scientist, legislation is also being considered in Arizona, Florida, Hawaii and Oklahoma. They put out an interesting article about the phenomenon, referencing some work from others in the same area.
Check out these videos fo the WIldCat from the Oxford Mobile Robotics Group and the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford:
Autonomos Labs in Germany has also modified a Volkswagen Passat:
Here’s a two-year old video from Stanford University, showing off “Shelley”:
If you take away anything from all of this, it should be that there are others besides Google working to bring driverless cars to society, and that includes politicians. I just hope there is something in all of this legislation that prohibits self-driving giant spider robots (which Google had at its Google I/O event in 2010, by the way). Otherwise, we may all be in trouble: