It has been announced that Google has met up with Deputy Mayor for Transport Isabel Dedring to discuss a trial of driverless cars. The idea is that they will run a trial in London to see if Google’s cutting edge technology works and this would be the first test outside of the United States. At this moment in time Google have only tested in Mountain View, California (where Google is based) and Austin, Texas. I imagine the little driverless car raised a few eyebrows in the southern state, where they still wear cowboy hats.
Google’s aim is to have this cars in around cities so it makes perfect sense to test it in London, one of the biggest and most populated cities in the world. The roundness of it’s shape is not more aesthetic purposes although I do think it makes it look like friendly companion, like a small puppy. It’s a shame they are not more colourful actually as I feel that would make them more distinctive. Plus this is science fiction made real so I think they had have license to make a bit more funky.
What the roundness is actually for however is so that the internal systems of lasers, radars, cameras and magic (I may have made that last one up). The car is dependent on these systems as this it’s navigation and more importantly, it will stop them falling into the Thames if they come to London. Dedring herself said that she is ‘personally sceptical about the technology’ and who can blame her. I remember seeing a video years ago where Volvo claimed that had a car that could stop itself to avoid a crash. This Volvo didn’t stop and ploughed straight into the object was meant to avoid. Hilarious to watch but obviously life threatening in the real world.
Is this the future of motoring? The UK Government seems to think so as they have announced they are going to invest £20 million towards 8 driverless projects. At this junction I’m on the fence about driverless cars. As a keen driver I can’t stand the thought of driverless cars as I don’t want a machine take the driving pleasure away from me. However… I think I would much rather have someone who is a crap driver secured in the safety of a Google car than being left to their own devices. Also, this could be a great tool for those who cannot drive, the disabled for example. Also, in theory, as you don’t need to drive it yourself does that mean that people under the age of 17 could use it? There may be many pros and many cons but one thing is for certain, this is the future and it’s coming to a street near you. Well, it is if you live in London.