Google's driving the future of... driving

Google's driving the future of... driving

Summary: Google has created a car that is capable of driving itself. So successfully, in fact, that it was able to travel 140,000 miles without human intervention.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Google
26

Google has created a car that is capable of driving itself. So successfully, in fact, that it was able to travel 140,000 miles without human intervention.

[they drove from our] Mountain View campus to our Santa Monica office and on to Hollywood Boulevard. They’ve driven down Lombard Street, crossed the Golden Gate bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe. -- Official Google Blog

My first instinct was to question safety implications of the trek made by these cars, but Google has said that they were also manned with professional drivers that had the ability to override the system as easily as "turning off cruise control". They also talked to all the appropriate law enforcement agencies before going ahead with the plan.

I think robotic cars will be great in the future -- but I hope it's never made mandatory. Cars aren't just for getting from point A to point B -- it's sometimes about having fun too. Please don't replace my car with a boring robot -- yet.

Topic: Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

26 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • I don't see this catching on for google

    Because I don't see any legit car manufacture really building this with google. So they will have to start making their own cars. Anyone want to buy the Ford Google Beta Car w/Google Toolbar?
    x21x
    • RE: Google's driving the future of... driving

      @x21x I'm glad you enjoyed it ^^ Thank you for post <a href="http://www.rolexwatchesuk.co.uk">rolex replica</a> <a href="http://www.rolexwatchesuk.co.uk">rolex replicas</a> <a href="http://www.rolexwatchesuk.co.uk">replica watches uk</a>
      3shao
  • I agree, where is the fun in that?

    And what if the whole fricking system gets infected by malware? Can you say grid lock? ;-)
    Economister
    • RE: Google's driving the future of... driving

      @Economister That's only if the system is running Windows....thank God it isn't.
      cyberslammer
      • Wishful thinking.

        @cyberslammer

        <s>Google</S> Skynet is the malware! Remember?
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Google's driving the future of... driving

        @cyberslammer

        I'm not using it unless it's Windows. No Google Betas for me thank you.
        tonymcs@...
    • You & all your CrAppleholic brothers are destined for the looney bin!

      @Economister Idiots like you were telling FAA to never use Fly By Wire 30yrs ago. Yet it's what they all use today, especially in critical blind weather conditions. This is just a Fly By Wire car and it's a lot safer than having some CrAppleholic iNazi losers at the wheel!

      It's closed system dumb arse. Meaning you have to physically be present to alter or penetrate the system. Under isolation, no infection can ever occur. It's the same principle of the Linux OS used in Airlines and Outer Space Navigation. Embedded systems are incapable of being infected from outside their close walled environment! ....you do realize Google is using Linux don't you??? At it's not related to hackable Crackable OS-X like Windows! ;)
      i2fun@...
      • RE: Google's driving the future of... driving

        @i2fun@... <br><br>You seem to have no idea what 'fly by wire' is. It has absolutely nothing to do with navigation, nor is it in any way related to the system being discussed here.
        msalzberg
      • RE: Google's driving the future of... driving

        @msalzberg the iCrAppleholic iNazi! ;) .....just so you understand how absolutely and emphatically wrong you are in your drunken iCrAppleholic ignorance. These fully automated "Drive (or Fly) by Wire" systems could keep fools like you alive in spite of your stupid idiotic ignorance of the meaning of the term!!! haha....<br><br><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drive_by_wire" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drive_by_wire</a><br><br>btw.... "Fly by Wire" for planes is described in much the same way today and includes driving, piloting or navigating ships, vehicles or aircraft by automated means (such as the speed control on your car although not fully automated w/o steering).

        Because it is inferred that this is an automated system of flight or navigation even though it can be overridden physically by a pilot or driver. These automated navigation systems no longer use mechanical means of control initiated by any said pilot or driver. Since a computer cannot in and of itself control such mechanical controls (both "Fly by Wire" and "Drive by Wire") have come to mean an automated interface for the safe navigation and control of ships, aircraft, automobiles, etc.<br><br>Furthermore "Fly by Wire" can also be used to describe controlling of the flight of Drones. Which for you iCrAppleholics means completely unmanned navigation of aircraft!<br><br><a href="http://www.seattlepi.com/business/boe202.shtml" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.seattlepi.com/business/boe202.shtml</a><br><br>Also buddy.... having been the navigator in the military on land, sea and in the air, "Fly by Wire" most certainly pertains to safe navigation of vehicles, aircraft and ships at sea by automated means. Set a course on a ship with auto pilot enabled and you are on "Drive by Wire". Which is basically no different than steering (navigating) an aircraft, ship or vehicle under automated computerized "Fly/Drive by Wire" controls!!! Sorry!!! haha.....
        i2fun@...
  • Try here

    Goog, try to take it to vietnam, i'll bet it can not make a move.
    phankhanhhung@...
  • I Have To Say It

    I for one welcome our robot car driving overlords....
    cyberslammer
  • RE: Google's driving the future of... driving

    This would be very beneficial to disabled people who cannot drive conventional cars...

    Imagine drag racing Stephen Hawking.
    cyberslammer
  • Let's hope.....

    this is one that doesn't stick to the wall.
    Userama
  • Sometimes people like to drive, but not usually

    Driving is a chore. Half of the time I spend driving I either talk on the phone or listen to audiobooks so the time isn't a complete waste.

    The real impact of automated driving technology isn't necessarily on passenger cars, but on commercial traffic. If I was a truck-driver, I'd be worried about the longevity of my job. And how about taxi-drivers? Wouldn't it be so much better to get in a cab and punch in your address and know that the cab isn't going to cheat you?

    Actually the auto-taxi is one of those technologies that could be a game-changer for a greener planet. Taxi service is not cost-effective in many cities because of the human driver factor and lack of automation. But with a centrally-managed system and auto-cabs that cycle on or off depending on demand, it could revolutionize travel.

    There will always be a large amount of private unmanaged travel as long as cars and gas are cheap. But when owning a car starts to cost 100 grand and gas is $25 a gallon, things could really change. And don't laugh, I expect to see it in my lifetime.
    terry flores
  • Can we skip this

    and go straight to the flying car! weeeeeeeeee!
    CowLauncher
    • Really!

      @CowLauncher

      The first person to build a flying Delorian would make MAD money...
      The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: Google's driving the future of... driving

        @Cylon Centurion 0005 <br><br>Yeah, the DeLorean already has the gull wing doors. Just need to work out the hydraulics to make 'em flap.
        benyahuda
      • flying DeLorean

        Hover conversions should be available within about five years, but you might have to go back in time to find a DeLorean!
        J. D. S.
  • RE: Google's driving the future of... driving

    In 2004 its estimated that 1.2 million people were killed worldwide in auto accidents and 50 million injured. Auto-accidents cost 512 billion worldwide in 2003. Every car should be outfitted with this tech, if you fall asleep, are drunk, on medication,have a heart attack, stroke, etc. you cannot harm others and yourself. Of course insurance companies and car collision body shops would go belly up.

    The insurance companies would fight this technology by lining politicians pockets with millions and the red tape would be insurmountable.
    darklight7
  • RE: Google's driving the future of... driving

    My only question is, will they really be safer than human drivers? Vision is something humans do very well, but computers do poorly.

    And of course, there's the question of how it handles unexpected surprises, like animals crossing the road and winter conditions. Building a car to drive on a predictable road is one thing - but building it to handle unexpected conditions is another. You'd need quite a jump in AI to handle all of the possible unexpected surprises, and frankly not much has happened in the field of AI for quite some time. I don't really have a lot of confidence in that field.

    . . . and yeah, I'd also worry about malware. It's already been demonstrated that it's possible to "hack" some car systems already, and it's already pretty scary what they could theoretically do.
    CobraA1