The Future is now
Or at least it’s looking like it’s starting today. And sure, some other cars have gotten the ball rolling, but Google has taken the first real step towards automated driving. Past attempts have been normal cars that have been modified to drive themselves, and though they have worked admirably, it is time for the tech giant to flex its IT muscle and show how it’s done. Google has unveiled the first completely automated vehicle built solely to be completely automated. From the ground up, this nameless prototype has no steering wheel. It has no brake pedal, nor does it have an acceleration pedal.
For the passengers, the interior is a pleasant looking but rather bare bench in a rotund little body. There is a stop go button and a pair of cupholders, but that’s about it. But really, that’s all that’s needed in the early stages. Simply sit back, relax, and let the little bubble of a vehicle zip around and do all the driving without getting the passengers involved at all. Topping out at 25mph, it’s not going to win any drag races, but this is simply an early design to prove it can do what Google set out to do, and that’s just to drive.
What does this mean for the future? Well. For starters, once a road tested and highway approved version comes out, it’ll be interesting to see what big cities do. It’ll be hard to kick people in cars out of the way to make way for the more efficient, arguably safer self driving cars, which means the interim will be a tussle between personal preference. But imagine what a self driving car can give to its customer base. Paying attention to the road is a thing of the past. All that energy and awareness can be put towards other stuff such as connecting with the other people in the vehicle or getting more work done. It’ll be safer as it takes much of rash decision making that people are rather prone to out of the driving equation. And sure the thing looks a bit like a happy little clown car, but now that the base is out, people can build and design off it and there will be great looking self driving vehicles out there in no time.
It won’t be long before these start be churned out in large numbers, and then the future that they were dreaming of in all those old World Fairs will finally come to fruition. And Google is happily leading the way. Who knows, maybe they’ll be for purchase at Matt Castrucci Nissan in Dayton, OH in a few years.