Last week, Google announced its latest attempt at recreating the way we do things; the car that drives itself. Yes, you read that right. In Google's coolest attempt at world domination, they actually have invented a robot car. The car is a tricked out Toyota Prius, with a series of sensors and even a rotating sensor on top of the car. The sensors can scan more that 200 feet in all directions and it can generate a very precise three-dimensional map of the car and its surroundings. The car can even detect stop signs, stop lights and pedestrians.
According to the press release, these robot cars can even be programmed individually for different driving styles. This would determine how cautious the car should be, and if it should risk speeding to get around slower vehicles. It is amazing to watch this car in action. Take a look:
What's even cooler is that you can tell the car where you want to go using Googlemaps, and the car will plan out the route and get you there. The self driving car doesn't take the place of an actual human behind the wheel though, and there is an easy override system. Google has said that they have driven over 140,000 miles in this car and have only had one minor accident. The accident was caused by a driver rear ending the Google car. So, scoreboard Google 1- Human – 0. The theory behind this type of car is that it will reduce the rate of accidents and make driving safer by limiting driver distraction, error and fatigue.
I can imagine that this sort of technology would save many lives. There are accidents every day caused by people getting sick, getting distracted by a phone call or a text message or just not noticing a hazard in time to stop. The robot never gets tired or distracted. With an actual person at the wheel, there will be a system in place in case the technology failed. Even people who have had too much to drink would have better odds of getting home without killing anyone or themselves. Let's face it, the cops can't catch them all.
Unfortunately, Google has no plans, as of yet, to market this car to the public. I can't afford it yet, but man, I want one. I just hope that Google gets the technology on the market before anyone else. I don't know about you, but I don't think that I would want to drive in a robot car that Microsoft put out.
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By Melissa Kennedy- Melissa is a 9 year blog veteran and a freelance writer, along with helping others find the job of their dreams, she enjoys computer geekery, raising a teenager, supporting her local library, writing about herself in the third person and working on her next novel.