To wit, Google's autonomous vehicles, more commonly known as self-driving cars, or robotic cars. They hold the promise of one day freeing us from the scourge of breakfast burrito-munching, text-addicted distracted drivers, and indeed the prototypes driving around parts of California are truly incredible pieces of technology.
The company introduced a new prototype for an autonomous vehicle yesterday (blog entry, The Guardian story, Car & Driver article). While earlier prototypes were based on commercial vehicles, like Toyota's Prius or RX, this one's purpose-built from the ground up. It also has no steering wheels, no pedals, and no provision for human intervention. A little creepy? Probably. But it's another step along the road toward a very different transportation-based future.
Al Jazeera quoted me in an article posted this morning: Google close to unveiling self-driving car. Here's what I had to say:
Technology analyst, Carmi Levy, told Al Jazeera that autonomous cars would be an "inevitable part" of the way people travel in the future.
He added that the transition to autonomous driving would open up a "litany of legal, insurance and even ethical issues".
Levy said that while there was a risk of vehicles being hacked, consumers and governments would have to accept that with any new technology "perfection may not be universally attainable".Your turn: Would you step into an autonomous vehicle? Do you agree/disagree with me?