By David Zanoni:I was stunned to see a blind man in the driver's seat of Google's (GOOG) self-driving car in this video. He never had to touch the steering wheel. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles approved the use of the self-driving car back in May 2012.
Most people are slightly scared of Google's new self-driving car prototype because the driverless vehicle has no steering wheel or brakes. You just push a button and it takes you where you want to go. It's like sitting in the car equivalent of one of those airport monorails.
Google Inc.’s (GOOGL) self-driving cars hit a new hurdle because of a new rule by the California’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). According to the rule, which will take effect from September 16 this year, it requires self-driving cars to have a steering wheel and brake pedals. In case of an emergency, it will allow the driver to immediately take control.
It's small. It's cute. It's from Google. It can drive itself. And it's absolutely terrifying to everyone in the auto industry. The Google Car might not look like much, but its existence as an actual production vehicle has auto executives waking up in a cold sweat. At the moment, the Google Car is in the testing phase.
A white Lexus cruised along a road near the Google campus, braking for pedestrians and scooting over in its lane to give bicyclists ample space. The car eased into a turn lane, waited for a green light and a break in traffic, then continued on its way in the Silicon Valley city of Mountain View. It even avoided stopping on train tracks.
The state of Nevada has issued a license plate giving Google's self-driving car the green light to travel along public roads.The modified Toyota Prius was issued a license bearing an infinity sign next to the left of number "001" after demonstrating its auto-pilot capabilities on highways, neighborhood streets and even the hectic "strip" in Las Vegas.The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles proclaimed the license the first for an autonomous vehicle in the United States.
While the idea of simply hopping into a car, pressing a button, and arriving at your destination sounds enticing, we're still far away from that type of simplicity. Google has been showing off its new self-driving car models for the past several months, but there are still many unanswered questions when it comes to safety.
It's hard to tell which Google project the world is more excited about--Google Glass(es) or Google's self-driving cars--but this frequent car-driver, anyway, can't wait for the latter. (The Glasses sound cool, too, don't get me wrong.)