Google takes the Wheel

Google takes the Wheel

In decades past, car designers built prototypes of cars they thought we’d be driving in the 2000s. Many were inspired by space-age concepts or fighter jets or small city cars with wild futuristic looks. So it’s fair to say that they had higher hopes for what we’d be driving today than what we currently have (We cover this in the upcoming edition of The Good Oil). But is a funny faced bubble car made by computer geeks about to change all that?

Google has got behind the wheel and removed it altogether with their new driverless concept car that does away with all the traditional driver controls and is fitted only with an emergency stop button. 100 of the prototypes will be built and tested and will actually have manual controls that can be engaged in an emergency but only to comply with California laws. The car can reach a speed of 40kph and does everything for you while you read the paper, have breakfast or just enjoy the view.

There are going to be questions and concerns of course. Google has seeped into our lives in recent years and now seems to know more about us than we do it seems. I have no doubt that Google has the ability and resources to make the Google car safe and viable but I do worry that it will be another part of our lives and movements that can be monitored more closely than we may be comfortable with.

As a mode of private transport in a busy city it does look like a good idea when you watchthis video. I only hope they make it look a bit more Jetsons and slightly less goofy.

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