In 2010 Google introduced the self-driving car project. A car led by a computer. Since then Google drove over 200,000 safe and computer-led miles. But I only want to talk about 3 miles, 3 very special and touching ones.
Google posted recently a video of legally blind Steve Mahan how he’s driving with the self-driving car to Taco Bell and the dry cleaner to pick up his clothes. An experiment touched many hearts and showed the possibilities and benefits of the self-driving technology. “Where this would change my life is to give me the independence and the flexibility to go to the places I both want to go and need to go when I need to do those things,” Steve Mahan says in the video.
In the video you can see Mahan sitting in the driver’s seat, the steering wheel turning like magic by itself while radar and lasers make sure the road is clear. “Look, Ma, no hand. No hands, no feet” laughs Mahan in the video.
Though it’s still uncertain how far self-driving cars are from becoming reality, Nevada just became the first state to legalize self-driving cars. One of the restrictions is that the passenger seated in the passenger seat can stop the car at any time via a brake pedal on the passenger side or via an emergency stop button on the center console that can be reached by anyone in the vehicle. “There’s much left to design and test, but we’ve now safely completed more than 200,000 miles of computer-led driving, gathering great experiences and an overwhelming number of enthusiastic supporters,” Google said.
But is it just me or is the idea of self-driving cars a little bit frightening? What do you think?