This entry was posted by Sunday, 1 April, 2012
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Might as well make it official.

We got driverless cars swerving all over the road around here already, right? Texting. Arguing about last night. Looking up whatzisname’s address. Why would we care if the driver hands the wheel over to a computer? How could it be LESS safe?

Here’s the thing.

Google – the very same Google that took you here? – Google has been testing “autonomous” or driverless vehicles for years. Safe as yoghurt. The only collision? A rear ender when the Google car was stopped at a light. Even Apple couldn’t hold THAT against the Don’t Be Evil guys.

Am I pulling your chain?

I am not.

How close?

The autonomous vehicle is around the corner. (Corner. Get it?). And we could see the first models in a couple of years.

Nevada (Nic Halverson, Discovery News) just changed its laws to let these things drive around the state. Appropriately, this makes Nevada the first state to take the high stakes bet.

The biggest hurdle isn’t the technology. It’s the other stuff. It’s whether I’m ready to let my car take the wheel. It’s whether I’m willing to let YOUR car take the wheel. It’s the law’s adjusting to accidents where nobody’s-to-blame-but-the-machine. It’s how fast a “driverless” decides to go in a 65 MPH zone? Does it break the law a little bit? Make reasonable judgements? Cling to 65 MPH and piss off all the other drivers?

The scramble is on to figure out what we want from this new technology. It’s coming at us faster than you think. Can the laws get out of the way fast enough? What about you? Are you good with this? Or are you still an old fashioned kinda human who doesn’t trust a machine at highway speeds.

Mister ScienceAintSoBad thinks your next car may have a little gadget in it that you didn’t expect.  A driving machine.

Buckle up for safety.



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Image credits to the film Vacancy with  Luke Wilson and Kate Beckinsale which has nothing whatsover to do with driverless cars.

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