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Google's Autonomous Car Wants To Be Ready, but Is It?

 



If you drove 140,000 miles, considering most people have the average year's worth at 12,000 miles, you'd have almost 12 years of driving experience. In Google's eyes, that's more than enough time to put into its autonomous driving cars, the ones that let you hands-free the entire motoring experience. So why are we so leery?

We agree in some respects with SingularityHub.com. The site argues that a lot of the barriers to handing over control to a car and a computer has nothing to do with the technology involved. After all, fighter planes are inherently unstable, meaning they could crash at any time. Computers keep them on the straight and narrow much faster than any human mind could.

The benefits are there in terms of reduced fatalities and other safety factors like ease of use, and being able to do more while you drive. But the technology wizards that put this together sometimes don't understand the human condition. Just look at Google Buzz that didn't ask users to opt in, or Facebook's myriad privacy issues.

And there's something I think that they don't get. While millions of people have lost the love for driving, thanks to commutes and bland motoring experiences, there's still a minority of people who like their hands on the wheel. And I think a lot of my readers are in that boat.

But, I'll leave it to you guys. Would you take a car where you didn't have to do a thing? Or is there some middle ground in safety that could help out?


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Comments (2)
  1. I think that the insurance companies will have the final say on this. Presuming the automated car will be safer than a human controlled car, it may be impossible to get insurance for a manually operated car eventually after a sufficient amount of time has passed to establish a track record of traffic incidents relating to automated cars.
     
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  2. Jeremy Clarkson has it right when he says these kinds of technologies are actually going to save the auto enthusiast. His logic goes something like the amount of "petrol" and lives saved by these types of technologies, only leaves more the enthusiast market.

    The real problem with these in the US is that eventually, one of these will be in an accident somewhere, and the litigation expense will kill this market. Don't mind that each year in the US about 30,000 people are killed.
     
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