Driving, whether it be to work, to a social event or just to grab a gallon of milk, is part mechanics, part reaction time and part luck, that those next to you are paying as much attention as you are. Would you ever turn that responsibility over to a computer? Google is betting that one day, you will, which is why they are investing in a new technology aimed at allowing cars to drive themselves.
While it may seem like something out of the movie, "iRobot," Researchers at Google feel that consumers just might be willing to hand over control of their commute to an ultra high tech computer system.
The vehicles work with a 64-beam laser that sends out signals that generate a 3D map of the surrounding terrain. The vehicle also has GPS, Radar at the front and rear bumper and a “wheel encoder” that keeps tabs on the vehicle’s location.
With a person in the drivers seat, you can already ride in a self-driving car in California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada. Google Self-Driving Cars have a reported $150,000 worth of equipment onboard. It was announced in April of 2014 that Autonomous Vehicles have logged 700,000 Miles accident-free. The vehicles do have a big red kill switch to end the autonomous control and turn the controls back over to a driver.
The concept of the Self Driving Car sounds wonderful, and able to make life easier, however, safety is of prime concern. There were two reported accidents involving Self-Driving Cars, however Google claims that both of them, either occurred when the vehicle was being manually driven, or the other, (being rear-ended) were both the fault of human error.
Those Questions about safety, as well as concerns about auto insurance liability, potholes, and other inconsistencies in the roadway as well as the overall security of the onboard system to a possible hacking, are among the types of questions that will need to be answered before this technology becomes available to the everyday consumer.
Dealers: What do you think about selling self-driving cars?