Having dominated the digital scene and helped to organise a big chunk of the world’s information, Google is now attempting to connect the dots with the tangible (and then possibly sell relevant ads around that, as evidenced by its recent filing with the SEC that shows its desire to show ads in cars or in the home). Its self-driving car project is among the most impressive uses of Google’s innovative collective brain (and massive warchest) and it’s launched a clip showing volunteers in a prototype vehicle.
- Check out a rundown of the project here.
As Solve for X, Google’s experimental arm, says, “every year, 1.2 million people die worldwide in traffic-related incidents, and over 90 percent of those accidents are due to human error”. So the main goal of this new iteration is to reduce that figure (and help those who struggle to drive traditional cars), which means that aside from a start, stop and panic button, it takes the driver completely out of driving and doesn’t feature a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, gear stick or brake pedal.
This may seem scary. But, as pointed out on this Freakonomics podcast about the car (AKA ‘The Most Dangerous Machine’), people thought the same thing about elevators until they started using them and they became completely accepted.
And if you think driverless cars is pretty out there, check out some Google engineer and renowned futurist Ray Kurzweil’s predictions.