Google’s relentless drive into science fiction has taken on a barely believable new dimension as Nevada award the first ever driving license to a self driving car.
The especially equipped Toyota Prius has taken ‘automatic’ to new dimensions as the car drove totally under its own control down the world famous Las Vegas Strip.
The car relies on video cameras, lasers, radars and a vast bank of information collected by manual drivers, to help the car navigate and make its way through traffic.
Developed by Stanford Professor and Vice President of Google Sebastian Thrun the self driving car is just another development in the roll of inventions coming out of the imaginations of Google’s employees. Creatively they unleashed the Google Art Project, the most comprehensive database of ultra-high resolution art works of all time accessible for free. For more speculative science fiction progress; Sergey Brin and other Google billionaires announced the launching of a project hoping to mine asteroids in space.
As the self driving car gains its first official driving license, it seems that this new space- age development is more than likely to change the way people drive.
After already being tested by driving through San Francisco Streets, across famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and covering 140,000 miles Sebastian Thrun believes the car has proved itself safe. Over the entire time of test driving the car never needed emergency assistant from the stand- by driver and over the whole 140,000 miles apparently only suffered a single accident; when a human driver bumped into the back of it whilst waiting at traffic lights.
To Bruce Breslow the director of Nevada’s Department of Motor Vehicles, this proves that human error is the real killer on the roads. He has expressed his belief that self driving vehicles are the next step in automotive technology. As the vast majority of motor accidents are down to human error; drivers not paying attention, falling asleep or a plethora of other human frailties, computerised motoring will in fact be far less fallible.
Across the long, straight roads across the vast stretches of America and along the highly regulated grid street plans of America’s cities motorised vehicles could be in their element. How long trust will take to develop across the rest of the world is yet to be seen. Older European cities that grew ramshackle fashion over hundreds of years are often riddled with confusing winding streets and befuddling networks of one way systems and could pose a more confusing challenge to self driving vehicles.
Ultimately how long it will take the public to lay their trust in self driving cars is yet to be seen.