In this article, Patrick Mahony discusses Google’s driverless car. There are many advantages to this technology and Google has already displayed its self-driving prototype.
“Imagine living in a world where cars could drive themselves. Guess what? That world nearly exists!” – Patrick Mahony.
For approximately six years now, Google has been designing and perfecting its driverless car. As of early October 2015, the prototype has been debuted and it does not even have so much as a steering wheel for human drivers. It is truly a driverless car. Though the prototype currently maxes out at about 15 MPH and is still in testing phases, it is a remarkable feat for technological advance nonetheless.
Why does the world need a car that drives itself?
According to Google, there are many reasons. One important factor to consider is that a driverless does not make human errors. Approximately 94% of all traffic accidents have some sort of human error to blame (not paying attention, texting while driving, driving while impaired, etc.). With a car that is driven by a computer, these human distractions necessarily cannot occur. Google has spent years and driven over 1 million miles so that it can stuff its car full of as much information as possible to “think” like a human being. For instance, Google’s driverless car has learned in the many training miles it has logged that it needs to slow down and stop for pedestrians, be aware that cars might try to cut it off, that it needs to yield and merge in certain situations, that bikers use their arms as turn signals, and more. Patrick Mahony sees this is as a huge advantage. Google self-driving car can anticipate dangerous situations without being distracted in the way humans do allowing a much safer road space. A driverless car also provides an important advantage to a vulnerable sector of the population: the elderly and the disabled. Patrick Mahony thinks that a self-driving car would be far safer for this population than if they drove a car themselves.
There are other automobile companies that have been working on their self-driving car game. Like Toyota, who recently promised a car that can switch lanes by itself or brake by itself when needed. However, Google is ahead of the pack by developing a car that is so driverless that it does not even have a steering wheel. “It will be very interesting to see what this new technology brings and when these cars will be available for consumer use” Patrick Mahony says.