Mar 29, 2012
Google's Self Driving Car Is Truly Incredible
I had heard of the Google self driving car prototypes that were supposedly in development, but I had no idea we'd see such an impressive field test so soon. We've come a long way. After about 200,000 miles worth of testing the vehicle, Google felt confident in conducting a test featuring the unlikeliest of candidates for 'driving,' a 95% blind man called Steve Mahan.
Using a preprogrammed route, the car safely, and smoothly drove Steve to Taco Bell and dry cleaners, using advanced sensors and a rapidly spinning camera (Situated on top) to rapidly map out the surrounding environment to ensure the passengers safety. It really cheered me up to see Mr. Mahan being given the opportunity that a blind man would probably never have otherwise, and the potential for such a program to improve people's lives. We're probably still years off from seeing a mass market version of such a scifi concept, but its inspiring to see the progress made since the program's debut in 2010.