Posting in Technology
The future got a little closer this week: Google's driverless cars may now drive on Nevada's public streets and highways.
The future got a little closer this week, as Nevada became the first state to allow self-driving cars on its public roads.
The Las Vegas Sun reported that the state issued Google the first testing license for its autonomous vehicles, which will allow the cars to drive on public streets and highways. The cars are guided by GPS, visual indicators, sensor, and artificial intelligence software.
Google says that since 2010, it has performed more than 200,000 miles of computer-led test drives on private tracks.
According to the 2011 Nevada law that allows autonomous vehicles to be tested on its roads, the cars must have two people inside at all times - one in the driver's seat and one in the front passenger seat.
Advocates of autonomous driving argue that self-driving cars are ultimately safer than those driven by flesh-and-blood humans. Last year, Google software engineer Sebastian Thrun said in a blog post that the search giant's aim in developing the vehicles was to "help prevent traffic accidents, free up people's time, and reduce carbon emissions by fundamentally changing car use."
Although it is the first, Nevada is not the only state to consider allowing autonomous vehicle testing on its roads. California, Oklahoma, Hawaii, and Florida are also contemplating similar measures.
May 8, 2012
The future of autonomous personal transportation and freight delivery is not a car! Why is anyone trying to figure out how to make a car or a truck drive itself after they are designed and built to be driven? I suppose the reason is that we already have the vehicles and the roads; but, has anyone considered developing and implementing a fully automated/autonomous personal transportation and freight delivery system using vehicles no one has to drive from the start? I did and submitted a U.S. Patent Application for it. My proposal is a reliable, safe and efficient alternative to a car and a freight delivery truck that can really reduce traffic accidents and save lives. No Google driverless car can accomplish that as long as we rely on cars moving on roads. Same thing if we want to reduce oil dependence yet still rely on cars moving on roads.
Picture a wheelchair that becomes the "drivers" seat when docked into a frame that sticks out of the car. Automated driving to get to work, shopping, etc. for people who would other wise be dependent on other people to drive them.
Have you never gone to a party and got drunk, drove home from work after a long day so tired you can barely keep your eyes open, had kids fighting in car that took your attention off of driving. These are just a few examples. Maybe this never happens to you, but it does happen to people driving on the road with you. Have you never questioned the intelligence of a fellow driver?
This could make cabs and buses more fuel efficient by changing the aggressiveness most drivers have in acceleration. A cab is not fuel efficient in that it has to drive to you first. Neither cabs nor buses are convenient when traveling to or from remote locations. Neither buses nor cabs are useful for transporting large, heavy, or awkward items in comparison to a car that can let its back seat down, truck, or van. That's not to say there aren't also negatives to moving to such a technology.