Google Self-Driving Car: image via pcmag.comYou can talk on your cell phone, even text, check your email, eat your lunch, tun-in your radio, change a CD.... You can even take in all of the distractions along the Strip in Las Vegas... if you hop a cab. Or, you can take the Google autonomous car, currently a Toyota Prius, without a driver.
Likely to put cab drivers out of business after its testing period in Nevada is finished the Google autonomous car has a host of benefits your cabbie doesn't have.
First, it will never get into an accident on a city street or highway, as its LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) system that sits atop the car processes all surrounding information at once, much faster than a human. The Google car drives safely, never swerving in and out of traffic. It never speeds (sorry about that) and it never tailgates or harrasses other drivers!
View of the 'Strip' from the Google autonomous car: Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles
Aside from the safety elements of the Google autonomous car, no longer in the future, there is the convenience of such a means of transport in this multi-tasking, communication-juggling age, when driving safely now means professional and social 'downtime.'
Google Autonomous Vehicle Nevada license plateThe autonomous car can provide freedom to the millions of disabled and elderly persons who are not able to drive themselves and now have to depend on others to drive them. The driver-less car could substitute for busy parents when their kids need rides to and from school. And the Google car could become a 'soccer mom' for the neighborhood kids to transport them to after-school and weekend games and other recreation.
And then, of course, there's nothing like an autonomous chauffeur to escort the pet to the vet or the groomer.
This Google car has the potential to change all our lives and our relationships, and just wait until it learns to talk. Our kids will have closer bonds with their autonomous cars than their parents, and our dogs will wag their tails when their car comes home.
sources: PCMag, BBC News via PetsLady.com