Google is testing cars that drive themselves | Challenger Life Forums

Google is testing cars that drive themselves

Discussion in 'Dodge Challenger and Industry News' started by Houdini, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Houdini

    Houdini Platinum Level Supporter

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    Google announced Sunday that it has developed cars that drive themselves automatically in traffic, and that it has been testing them on the streets of California for months. It might seem like an unusual project for Google, but it could actually have big benefits.

    We're not just talking about cars running Google Android. This is the stuff of science fiction. The only accident that has occurred so far: One of the cars was rear-ended by a driver at a stop light. Human error!

    The vehicles have been tested on 140,000 miles of California road, from Silicon Valley to Santa Monica.

    Each car is manned during the tests. One person sits in the driver's seat, ready to take control of the vehicle instantly by grabbing the wheel or touch the brake should something go wrong with the system. The person in the passenger's seat is an engineer who monitors the software operations on a computer.

    Google (Google) hired engineers who previously participated in competitions and races involving automated cars -- important turning points in the development of the technology, which has been coming into its own since around 2005 according to The New York Times.

    If your first concern is one of safety, Google would argue that you're going about it all wrong.

    Safety is one of the the project's purposes. Google believes that the technology could nearly half the number of automobile-related deaths because computers are supposedly better at driving than humans in the right circumstances.

    There are other hypothetical pluses, too. The vehicles' instant reaction time and 360-degree awareness would allow them to drive closer together on the highway than humans can, reducing traffic congestion. They could be more careful when operating the gas, reducing fuel consumption.

    But the biggest benefit for Google would be the hour or so of daily commute time the car owner would save. Instead of driving, he or she could either be productive or entertained in the vehicle, doing work on a wireless Internet (Internet) connection or watching television.

    Google doesn't say it explicitly, but TechCrunch was quick to note that this time could be spent using Google products and absorbing Google-run advertising.
    The most optimistic projections put this technology at least eight years away from market, though. Legal hassles are among the myriad problems; all of the current traffic laws assume that a human driver is present in the vehicle.
     
  2. Theresa

    Theresa Challenger Life Moderator Staff Member

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    I work enough hours in a week. Now they want to take away the time I enjoy behind the wheel and make me work in my car, too? Yea, sometimes traffic makes driving sucky, but I crank the radio, drum on the steering wheel, and sing to get through it.
     
  3. deranged

    deranged Well-Known Member

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    This will make it much, much easier to text while driving and be totally oblivious to my surroundings! WTF! Are people really this willing to just disconnect with the world around them and let a machine do it for them? SCARY!
     
  4. Houdini

    Houdini Platinum Level Supporter

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    If a computer is driving for some of the morons on the road, I'm for it.
     
  5. Theresa

    Theresa Challenger Life Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, but who is the authority to choose who is a moron and who is not? And by which standards? Hey, if I could choose - heck, yeah!
     
  6. Houdini

    Houdini Platinum Level Supporter

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    Let's see....:think: anyone that would want a car like that..... :think: anyone driving a boring transportation pod, i.e. Camry, Corolla, Civic, Cobalt,.... :think: anyone caught driving for miles with their turn signal on... :think: anyone caught using an electric shaver while driving...... no, wait, forget about the shaver, that's fine... :whistle:
     
  7. Theresa

    Theresa Challenger Life Moderator Staff Member

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    Okay, all those people, plus the ones who put on makeup and get dressed/undressed, eat meals, read the newspaper....

    And ewww to whisker stubble in the car. :doh:
     
  8. shok

    shok New Member

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    i want a firebird that does that, and i want a matching watch i can talk into to tell the car i'm ready to go home meet me in front of work.
     
  9. Theresa

    Theresa Challenger Life Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm re-thinking this. If the car could give back/shoulder/foot massages and serve beverages and snacks, it might be okay. :think:

    :slap: Snap out of it, Theresa!
     
  10. Hesser

    Hesser Well-Known Member

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    We have all driven somewhere and then wished we could get us (for one reason or the other) and our car home but not have to chance driving it.... oh, and God forbid give up the keys.
     
  11. JimB

    JimB Guest


    You forgot one, drivers who take pictures of other cars while driving.
     
  12. Houdini

    Houdini Platinum Level Supporter

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    Guilty as charged. :shrug:
     
  13. Theresa

    Theresa Challenger Life Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, while driving nearly 100mph and shaving.
     
  14. Houdini

    Houdini Platinum Level Supporter

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    Actually, it was only about 90mph. The needle was about straight up.. and that's 90 mph on the R/T. :p
     
  15. Theresa

    Theresa Challenger Life Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry about it. 90mph while shaving is a LOT safer than 100mph while shaving. *snicker*
     

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