Friday, October 15, 2010

"Google Cars Drive Themselves, in Traffic"

Similar stories to this one from the New York Times appeared elsewhere. The last I had heard, self-driving cars would require a retrofit of roads. (I don't remember when or where I read that; it might have been 30 years ago in one of my father's issues of Popular Mechanics.) Google's approach seems more feasible, though how feasible that makes it in absolute terms I couldn't say.

The obvious concerns about this technology include safety and reliability, as well as hacking (imagine kidnapping, or killing, someone by taking over her or his car; in fact, it might be an effective way to frame someone).

Perhaps less obvious: Will self-driven cars get better gas mileage? Will Americans put up with them, even if they prove safer than human-driving cars? Will they be the end of the designated driver?

Ken Pimple, PAIT Project Director

1 comment:

Ken Pimple said...

The New York Times recently published an article, "Collision in the Making Between Self-Driving Cars and How the World Works," by John Markoff (January 23, 2012,

It seems there are legal issues, including liability and whether police officers would have the right and ability to make self-driving cars pull over, need to be resolved before smart cars take over the roads.