Drunks Rejoice! Google’s Building a Fleet of Designated Drivers!
Google’s mission is to “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
So, I’m not quite sure where in that statement, “create autonomous robotic cars that drive themselves” quite fits.
Still, that’s not stopped Google from building cars that, yes, drive themselves.
Our automated cars use video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to “see” other traffic, as well as detailed maps (which we collect using manually driven vehicles) to navigate the road ahead. This is all made possible by Google’s data centers, which can process the enormous amounts of information gathered by our cars when mapping their terrain.
So far, the cars have logged more than 140,000 miles, including such trips as…
…drove from our Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe.
Apparently, Google’s goal is to automate driving and perhaps cut down 1.2 million lives lost each year due to driving accidents.
Well, it might want to start by considering how drivers will react to seeing these robot cars on the road. It looks like Robert Scoble certainly paid more attention to the geeked-out car, than the road ahead of him.
If nothing else, the new cars will solve the problem of finding someone sober to drive you home after that all-night party!