Finance Minister Tito Mboweni attracted mixed reactions on Twitter when he posted a tweet asking whether South Africa needs a national airline. Mboweni’s tweet…
The latest project to come out of the tech giant’s cutting-edge division known as Google X? Hint: it’s not a new version of Glass. Founder Sergey Brin announced at the Recode Conference yesterday that the company has their own design for a self driving car. The car doesnâ€™t have a steering wheel, not even pedals, and they already have a working prototype.
Google recently demonstrated how effective its self driving technology is, however it used standard Toyota and Lexus vehicles, albeit ones with some hectic add ons like big red buttons for a manual over ride.
The new car proposed by Google is driven entirely by the computer (Read: no override button) and has a bucket ton of sensors telling the computer what’s happening in environment around the car.
The prototype only seats 2 people, but it seems to have very nice leg room though (no steering wheel helps in that regard). It looks rather similar to those â€œsmart carsâ€ — which makes it ironic that we are finally getting the car that is actually ‘smart’ in the same style. The parts for the new “robo-taxis” are even â€œoff the shelf car partsâ€ according to Brin.
“The reason I’m super excited about these prototypes is the ability to change the world and the community around you,” Sergey Brin said.
Here is how the software works:
With 1.2-million people dying in motor vehicle accidents around the world every year, Googleâ€™s hope is to cut that down by as much as 90% if all cars were using their technology. Not to mention the millions of people who canâ€™t use current vehicles every day due to disabilities such as blindness or physical limitations.
The plan is to have 100 early versions out soon, however they will have controls just in case issues arise in the testing process.
It has also been mentioned that due to police services gaining a predominant cut of their income from fines garnered from speeding motorists, that they are in quite a predicament if these new “robo-taxis” become mainstream. I for one hold no sympathy for their reliance on a side tax on the populace, but let us know in the comments what ramifications you think these cars will have on our way of life.