Google's Schmidt: Computers, not humans, should be driving cars

In a presentation at TechCrunch Disrupt, Google CEO Eric Schmidt talked about a technology nirvana between humans and computers - and suggested that computers, not humans, should be driving cars.
Written by Sam Diaz, Inactive

Here's an interesting thought: What if computers drove cars and left the passengers to eat, watch movies, maybe even take a nap?

On the stage at TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, Google CEO Eric Schmidt suggested that that's the way it really should be. During his presentation, he said:

Your car should drive itself. It's amazing to me that we let humans drive cars. It's a bug that cars were invented before computers.

It's an interesting concept - albeit kind of scary when you think about how often computers crash and can easily be taken down by a worm, bug or virus. The last thing I would ever want to see is a blue screen of death while moving at 65 mph on a Bay Area freeway.

Granted, Schmidt wasn't implying that such technology is coming. It was more of a side thought in a speech that he delivered about the interactions that computers and humans can have to share day-to-day tasks and learn from each other.

Yeah, I know. Kind of creepy, huh? In fact, it's so much so that CNET's Tom Krazit suggested that it may be time for Schmidt to tone down all of this talk about a tech utopia.

The driving thing is interesting to me because I realize that Schmidt can't be the only one thinking about this. Is there really going to be a day when I can't change lanes freely, duck into the carpool lane to go around a slow-poke and then duck back out avoid the ticket? Will there be a day when my speed is not determined by how much of a rush I'm in but rather a speed that a government agency considers to be ideal?

I like to drive - it comes with growing up in California, I suppose. And I also like technology. But I don't think I'm ready now - or ever will be - for a car that takes the driving out of my control and gives it to a computer.

Editorial standards