Google’s Self Driven Cars

Recently when I was surfing some TV channels, I managed to catch a programme on Google’s self driven cars and I was forced to not change the channel for next half an hour. I am a tech savvy guy but this is something that is still very difficult for me to gulp. I remember my parents telling me that as small kids they could never think that somebody could ever land in Moon and even when the great Armstrong did it, my grandparents were fearing an end of this world (mind you they were all educated and still did not understand this miracle that science had achieved). I am at slightly better position to understand that technology can make anything possible but still…

Led by Google engineer, Sebastian Thrun, this project –of self driven cars – undertaken by Google is one of the most prestigious projects handled by Google and by United States. The test is believed to be done on some luxury cars such as Toyota Prius and Audi TT. The driver’s seat is managed by some of the best drivers in the business but, interestingly, Google has also asked some of its engineers to accompany these drivers and the response has been impeccable. Through its sensors, the cars maintain good distance from other human-driven cars; however it also provides an option to humans to take control of cars when required. This is something which sounds quite interesting. According to The New York Times, policy makers and regulators have argued that new laws will be required if driverless vehicles are to become a reality because “the technology is now advancing so quickly that it is in danger of outstripping existing law, some of which dates back to the era of horse-drawn carriages”.

Though it is uncertain how earlier or later this may happen but the mere thought of being in self-driving cars itself gives goose bumps. The day is not far when radar, lidar and GPS will be a part of our daily conversation as Bluetooth and 3G have become now (six years back not many spoke about 3G and Plasma TVs). I am today, somehow, optimistic that this dream might become a reality in next 5 years all over the world including India and I will not be surprised if it happens sooner.

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