Remember in I, Robot, when Will Smith could drive on his own? Now we can live the dream of being a passenger forever.To some people, that might sound like a bit of a nightmare. I know plenty of people that love driving. In fact, they’d prefer to take the driver’s seat, and enjoy the road trip to and from foreign places, and using ol’ road maps and inquiring with residents of the local area. I’m actually a fan of driving myself, although admittedly, I’m not the greatest and most durable driver for long road trips. That’s why I think the Google self-driving car is probably the neatest thing to have come about this year so far.
The car is speeding through the track, but that’s only because Google programmed it to do so. In reality, the car will probably be a lot slower, especially if traveling on city streets where hazards and pedestrians and the such are so vulnerable.
The safety driver is in there just as a backup to the automatic system.
I guess that there’s really no surprise. GPS systems have been good at giving directions for years, Lexus has pioneered the self-parking technology, and many cars now feature “last-resort” automatic braking as a safety mechanism. Google had to assemble all these together, get the system in line with steering and acceleration. Although that sounds simple, it was probably quite a hassle in reality considering how many pieces are involved with these mechanisms and how many specific instructions and programs had to be created to keep everything cohesive.
I’m pretty sure that this isn’t going to replace human drivers. After all, if machines mess up they could prove to be a huge safety hazard for the passengers in the car, and so there will likely be a manual override. I’m a bit worried that humans might grow to rely on this technology, and eventually might forget how to drive. Then again, if we can still write using pens and pencils while also knowing how to type on a computer, perhaps these two pieces of information can exist mutually.