Google today revealed that it is going to be making self-driving cars.
Ever since we started the Google self-driving car project, we’ve been working toward the goal of vehicles that can shoulder the entire burden of driving. Just imagine: You can take a trip downtown at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking. Seniors can keep their freedom even if they can’t keep their car keys. And drunk and distracted driving? History.
We’re now exploring what fully self-driving vehicles would look like by building some prototypes; they’ll be designed to operate safely and autonomously without requiring human intervention. They won’t have a steering wheel, accelerator pedal, or brake pedal… because they don’t need them. Our software and sensors do all the work. The vehicles will be very basic—we want to learn from them and adapt them as quickly as possible—but they will take you where you want to go at the push of a button. And that’s an important step toward improving road safety and transforming mobility for millions of people.
It will be interesting to see where Google goes with this. Will they end up building their own cars or will they just provide the brains to other cars?…or perhaps a mix like they currently do with Android cell phones.
Whatever the case, the relationship between friends and mutual admirers Larry Page and Elon Musk might have just gotten more interesting.