Cars that drive themselves...REALLY?!
Ok, at first, this all sounds pretty amazing. You could wake up, get into your car in the morning, get dressed and put on your makeup, catch up on the news and prepare for your morning presentation, all in the privacy and convenience of your own vehicle...on the way to work. Who WOULDN'T want that?
I want that, and I want a hovercraft.
But then, I start thinking. What could possibly go wrong? Have you ever had a laptop crash, or lock-up because you're trying to run too many programs all at once? Have you ever been (or have you at least read about someone who has been) embarrassed or humiliated by one of your favorite search engine's snafu's (exhibit A or B or C)? Can a computer guess what the driver of another car is going to do?
"...The car can be programmed for different driving personalities — from cautious, in which it is more likely to yield to another car, to aggressive, where it is more likely to go first... (NYT)"
Admittedly, a robot could probably do a better job of driving than a human who insists on driving while intoxicates, over-medicated, high, IM-obsessed, or asleep. But it will take some convincing for me to believe that a robot can do a better job of driving than a responsible, cautous driver. Time will tell, I suppose.
Ben Tseitlin caught one on video:
Google Computer-Driven Prius from Ben Tseitlin on Vimeo.
Also see Neowin: Google Develops Self-Driving Cars, and Mashable: Google is Testing Cars that Can Drive Themselves and TechCrunch: Google's Self-Driving Car Spotted on the Highway Almost a Year Ago (Oh, and Scoble) [VIDEO]
Jennifer Pointer (e-mail) is in Tulsa, OK. She promotes a simple, a low-tech approach to effective online profile management, search engine optimization and social networking.