Get ready America. The days of toiling away behind the wheel will remain. You just won’t have to do anything. Google announced that the once tricky urban streets are easy now. Plus, the vehicles will run over fewer pedestrians. Hey SkyNet, it’s not like most of us are aiming to clip the hipster cyclist.
So far, Google’s self-driving vehicle has logged 700,000 miles, and has managed not to hit someone in the process. It might start demanding some pay for that type of travel. Google’s hang up for the computer driving your car is a human trait. We may not trust a computer to navigate the daily commute. No offense to us humans, but have you seen Atlanta at rush hour? Google can’t do any worse than that daily train wreck of drivers.
In a blog post about the program, Google has faith in humanity – let Google take the wheel. New country song anyone? “We’ve improved our software so it can detect hundreds of distinct objects simultaneously—pedestrians, buses, a stop sign held up by a crossing guard, or a cyclist making gestures that indicate a possible turn. A self-driving vehicle can pay attention to all of these things in a way that a human physically can’t—and it never gets tired or distracted.”
That’s handy, because who actually remembers the cyclist hand gestures? Everyone just hopes he doesn’t jerk to the left all of a sudden. State Farm may be a good neighbor, but that’s hard to explain.
Google is quick to admit that the technology isn’t quite ready for NYC or SF. It is one thing to ride the idyllic streets of suburbia. It is quite another to do battle with cabbies in an urban environment. “We still have lots of problems to solve, including teaching the car to drive more streets in Mountain View before we tackle another town, but thousands of situations on city streets that would have stumped us two years ago can now be navigated autonomously.”
Hey, I’m all for a Minority Report style car. I personally say removing the wheel from aggressive driver hopped up on energy drinks is a good thing. Plus, if you’re not driving, reading, applying makeup, texting and eating become viable options heading to work.
Check out the video below to see the self-driving car in action.