Google has placed all separately tested systems together in it’s first “fully functional vehicle for fully autonomous driving.”
Google invited a cartoonist for The Oatmeal Matthew, Inman to be the first member of the media to be self-driven.
The cars look like cartoons, which Inman refers to as marshmallows with wheels. The Google+ page reported that it is a holiday gift. The move to give a cartoonist not a journalist who actually knows technology to be the first test rider is at least bizarre.
Self driving Google vehicles drive like what we would call “The Little Old Lady School of Driving” (LOLSD) graduates. They are programmed to be extra cautious but can be tuned to be aggressive. They are programmed to slow down rather than take risks. The maximum speed for the vehicles is 25mph. But they are designed to look adorable like Andy Android so that we love them and feel oh so comfy inside.
Here’s where the media keeps missing the mark. The Google vehicles are technically not cars, cars can go more that 25 mph they are Google self-driving LSV or NEV that some call golf carts and by law they can be driven on freeways, only surface streets. These vehicles have much lower safety standards. Has any one mentioned air bags or roll bars or anything that provides safety?
If anyone has even driven behind a LSV to most standards they move V-E-R-Y S-L-O-W-Y, causing those with road rage to go absolutely balistic.
As a graduate of LOLSD who gets honked at frequently, LSV have even tried my patience when I’ve been behind them in slow retail zones.
Inman wrote “Can’t wait until these things replace all of us sleep-deprived, phone-obsesses, drug-addled, emotionally-unstable, dangerously incompetent humans.”
One commenter replied “And instead trust a car with a controlling computer that was programmed by sleep-deprived, phone-obsesses, drug-addled, emotionally-unstable, dangerously incompetent programmers?”
Inman finishes with “I’m ready for our army of Skynet Marshmallow Bumper Bots.”
It reads like fairy tale, because it is a fairy tale. The first prototypes had no brakes or steering wheels. However, California law no mandates all self-driving vehicles must have human take-over capabilities. There has been no safety testing vy NHTSA or other governing bodies.
Personally, I have avoided driving LSV on the road, in case of serious accidents.
If you are coming back from the market with graham crackers and Hersey bars does the whole thing become s’mores?
Some how all the cuteness disappears when the LSV and it occupants have melted.
This has been placed during a time when there is seldom news and after a leak that Google is working on Android M to run cars. There’s a problem with Google deciding where you go, it may send to restaurant a half an hour away when a four star restaurant is within walking distance. Google’s Android Auto was not nominated for any Tech CARS awards but Apple and its iPhone 6/6+ iOS 8 update Bluetooth Bungle is nominated for the Edsel Yugo Award for Biggest Snafu of 2014. Vote Now.