The Driverless Car – Should we be Afraid?

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I hate to get out on the roads these days. It may be just me, but it seems like its getting worse, maybe its just the sheer number of folks out on the open road, but most days I feel lucky just to make it to my destination in one piece. Are we all just terrible drivers, or is it just a few, that make the rest of us look bad?

Well how about this? Nevada has the distinction of becoming the first state to issue a license for a driverless car, and the lucky recipient is Google. So the next time the car in front of you is making you positively nuts there may not be anyone there to give the middle finger salute, and honking the horn will fall on deaf ears (or no ears at all for that matter.)

These automated cars use video cameras, proximity sensors, GPS and a laser assisted range finder in order to ‘see’ other traffic, as well as detailed maps that allow these phantom vehicles to navigate the open road. At the present time Google has a fleet of 8 vehicles including an Audi, a Lexus and several Toyota Priuses, (or should that be Prium?), and where the heck are they going anyway?

So how would you happen to know if you just got cut off by a driverless car? Simply take a break from the swearing and check the license plates, the ones on the driverless cars are red and have the infinity symbol on the left hand side that is meant to represent “the future.”

I’d like to say that this new technology makes me feel a bit uneasy, but driving already makes me feel like I’m taking my life in my hands, so is a car driven by technology apt to be more, or less safe than cars driven by humans? What do you guys think? I’m thinking I’d rather take my chances with the tech….

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5 reviews or comments

Christopher Says: May 15, 2012 at 11:20 am

Sounds MUCH safer to me. Can`t wait till they are finally made avaliable to the public.

Lanae Bays Says: May 15, 2012 at 11:22 am

Great post – I agree with you it can get crazy on the road. Putting our lives in technology’s hands can be a bit scary but at least the emotional, snap decisions or unreliable judgement of a human driver are removed from the equation!

Vadim Says: May 16, 2012 at 10:08 am

Just want to remind you one thing… how often does your computer crash and needs to be rebooted.

The other thing, what will happen to the police force once all cars autonomous and they no longer have revenue from speeding tickets?

Christopher Says: May 16, 2012 at 10:11 am

@Vadim: I am sure they will have ideas for that situation. Perhaps a backup button that would send help and or take you to safety is possible.

About the police force, they will make money in other ways this I am sure.

Jon Says: May 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

Having a computer on the car basically have the autonomy and power to drive itself and command itself to run has a very high chance of being highjacked by cyberhackers.

The idea is great but still there should be an override and they should invest on some pretty tough security measures…

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