I shared this on our Facebook Page today. (I hope you are following our stories there.)
It seems that Google’s goal of putting cars on “auto pilot” is becoming a reality. In fact, this prototype is going to be logging in road hours starting in June. The car has no steering wheel or pedals, so it’s up to the computer to do all the driving. Wired Magazine reports that this is very cool, BUT there are some downsides:
Autonomous vehicles are coming. Make no mistake. But conventional automakers are rolling out features piecemeal, over the course of many years. Cars already have active safety features like automatic braking and lane departure warnings. In the next few years, expect cars to handle themselves on the highway, with more complicated urban driving to follow.
“We call it a revolution by evolution. We will take it step by step, and add more functionality, add more usefulness to the system,” says Thomas Ruchatz, Audi’s head of driver assistance systems and integrated safety. Full autonomy is “not going to happen just like that,” where from one day to the next “we can travel from our doorstep to our work and we don’t have a steering wheel in the car.”