Ever since Google started their self-driving car project, we’ve been trying to wrap our heads around the idea of a vehicle that could eradicate all of the problems asscociated with driving (apart from the cost, that might be worse): trips at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking, seniors can keep their freedom through mobility, and drunk and distracted driving would be history.
What we’re dealing with here are cars designed to operate safely without human intervention. The vehicles will be very basic (if you can call no steering wheel, accelerator pedal or brake pedal and sophisticated software and sensors basic) but they will take you where you want to go at the push of a button.
“And that’s an important step toward improving road safety and transforming mobility for millions of people,” so says Google.
But the craziest thing about this idea, is that it might actually work in putting the moto industry out of business. According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.2 million lives are lost every year in road traffic accidents. Google are promising to half this number, by rolling out these sensor-driven cars and eliminating the human error factor, such as exhaustion, illness and intoxication.
They are also confident that the car will increase car-pooling numbers, reducing toxic emissions, and nurturing the social element. In terms of time efficiency, the U.S. Department of Transportation estimates that people spend on average 52 minutes each working day commuting. By bringing in the self-driving car, Google are promising to give us around an hour of our time back. Now that’s amazing.