Google, the global technology pioneer, is turning fiction into reality once again. This can be recently seen with “Autonomous Vehicles,” better known as driverless vehicles.
Since their announcement in 2010, Google has been hard at work perfecting this innovative automobile, a Toyota Prius which, according to Google, utilizes “video cameras, radar sensors and a laser range finder to ‘see’ other traffic as well as detailed maps.” This generously goes beyond the currently marketed ‘self-park’ cars such as the Lexus LS 460.
CNN covered a demonstration of this new vehicle’s performance with its test participant being a blind man sitting at the wheel of the car. While the car performed a series of everyday navigations, the man jokingly displayed his arms in the air saying, “Look, Ma– no hands!” as the Prius drove itself down a highway and even into a Del Taco drive-through.
This automotive creation is not just for boasting rights. Google is striving to make the roads safe and cars more efficient in today’s society. According to Google’s official blog, the self-driving vehicle project will “try to help prevent traffic accidents, free up people’s time and reduce carbon emissions.”
With 1.2 million annual deaths due to road accidents, the safety of the citizens are at risk each day. Factoring out the human driver from this number could have the potential to significantly reduce this number, giving both passengers and pedestrians peace of mind.
Google is “optimistic about technology’s ability to advance society.” This would also include the benefit of more efficient and attainable car sharing with the concept of the “highway trains of tomorrow.” Just imagine all the productive ways you could spend your valuable time!
Even with Google still in its experimental stages, it can seem as though the futuristic ‘Jetson’s’ lifestyle is little more than a generation away. But for now, Google is steering us towards the future– literally.