Google CEO Larry Page spoke at the Zeitgeist 2012 event this week, talking about Google’s Glasses, search, and various other topics. He briefly touched on Google’s self-driving cars.
In his talk, he played up the safety factor, and called upon the audience to think about their children.
“One of the projects I wanted to talk about was we have this project for self-driving cars,” said Page. “You know, and that seems really crazy. You’re like, how can a car possibly drive itself? You know, how’s that ever going to work? And, you know, we’ve had a team working on that and we’ve driven over 200,000 miles now with no incidents. And it’s really amazing to ride in one of these cars. It’s just almost a life-changing experience. You sit down, you drive through the parking lot, and you’re like ‘Why am I driving,’ you know?
“It’s just an amazing, amazing experience,” he continued. “And think about — you know, I have young children. I’m sure many of you do as well. Think about your children. By the time that they’re old enough to drive, there’s no reason we can’t have technology that helps them — teaches them to drive and learn all the things they need to know. And that’s like almost, I think, the leading cause of death, actually, for kids as they learn to drive. I mean, it’s a big deal. So I think, you know, my point was that I think in technology, if we take some ambitious bets, we really have an amazing ability to transform people’s lives.”
Here’s the video of his entire speech:
This week, a bill regulating autonomous vehicles passed unanimously in the California Senate. It enables manufacturers of such vehicles to operate them on California’s roads, provided they live up to all safety standards and requirements set forth by the state highway patrol.
Earlier this month, Nevada issued an autonomous vehicle license to Google, allowing the company to test the cars on its roads. If you’re thinking about applying for a license, you may want to consider taking this class offered by one of Google’s engineers:
A recent study found that one in five people would buy driverless car technology. The study, from J.D. Power, found that young, city-dwelling males showed the highest level of interest in the cars.