How Long Until We All Drive With Google?
The Google Car is a self-driving automobile that is becoming more popular by the day. The technology giant is hoping that these types of autonomous vehicles can help make the roads a safer place for drivers and passengers as self-driving vehicles are proven to be much safer drivers than humans. In the United States alone, 33,808 people died in car crashes in 2009 while 1.2 million people die in car crashes around the world each year according to the World Health Organization. If Google has its way, these numbers will be dramatically reduced as self-driving vehicles will eliminate any human error that often causes fatal accidents.
Benefits of the Google Car
There are many benefits associated with the Google Car that make it the perfect addition to the roadway. One of the biggest benefits is the vehicle’s ability to see in 360 degrees. With a camera mounted on the roof of the car, the vehicle is constantly scanning its surroundings, looking for other vehicles and the opportune time to change lanes. Since humans cannot see in 360 degrees, it is sometimes difficult to know when another car is in your blind spot, which often leads to avoidable crashes.
Another benefit Google’s self-driving vehicle would offer motorists is a safe commute because the autonomous vehicle is immune to conditions that would impair a human’s driving ability such as fatigue. When humans get tired or have too much to drink before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, they often succumb to those impairments and get into accidents. Since the self-driving vehicle is always alert, motorists will never have to worry about getting into an accident because someone fell asleep at the wheel or had too much to drink before getting into the car.
An Interesting Sight to See
While the Google Car has been around for a few years, it is still an interesting sight to see. Motorists in Mountain View, California, home to Google Headquarters, are constantly gawking at these vehicles when they see them on the road. In fact, the gawking has gotten so bad at times that Google’s self-driving vehicles have actually made human motorists worse drivers because they are always staring at the Google Car looking to see if anyone is driving it and just how it works.
In an effort to keep the roads safe in Mountain View, Google has taken measure to alert motorists that self-driving vehicles are on the road by placing large signs on the autonomous vehicles themselves. These signs alert drivers that the self-driving car is in action and allows them to drive appropriately in its presence in order to ensure everyone in the immediate area stays safe.
When Can We Expect Google Cars to Hit the Market?
While Google product manager for autonomous driving, Anthony Levandowski, predicts the technology required to run a Google Car will be mainstream in the next four years, it is unlikely that we will see these self-driving vehicles on the road in that timeframe. Bureaucracy within the federal government will surely slow down that time frame as attempts to come up with a performance standard that is objective and testable for scenarios where failure in the automatic car can occur need to be created and implemented.
With self-driving cars such a new technology, it will take several years just to implement these tests and ensure that these autonomous vehicles are in fact safe to have on the roadways en masse. Because of these anticipated delays from the federal government, a more reasonable time frame for when motorists can expect to see self-driving cars on the road is 2020.
Subaru dealership about cars and how they’re effecting our lives. The Google driverless car is one of his pet peeves which he can’t wait to get his hands on. He’s counting the days down to 2020.