Monday, August 11, 2014

There is an effort to have accident free driving. The only way for that to happen would be if we didn’t drive at all. Well when Google and Mercedes decide to try to invent something along these lines, I think it will happen in my lifetime. Just go to Mercedes Benz United States Headquarters in Montvale, New Jersey and they will admit to being 80% per cent on their way to developing a driverless car. Well then that will leave people free to do all the texting and distractions they want. This will truly be the car of the future and a brand new innovation in travel technology.

We know all this is real because Google has already been boasting about putting people in their driver less cars. Does that mean kids would be able to take themselves in the car to their after school activities too? This might even change all our habits and responsibilities. Mercedes Benz also has a huge research and development center in silicon valley where they are driving oops where the vehicles are driving themselves around the place. The thing has no steering wheel or gas or brake pedal so don’t even think of taking over somehow.
Google recently announced that it will be building 100 friendly looking self -driving cars to test this summer. Their goal is to corner the market of the driver less-cars of the future. I thought Google was an information seeking place. Now it has expanded into being so much more. Just a few miles away in silicon valley one of the oldest car makers is racing to produce and develop their version of the future way of transportation and they may have a head start.

It is called Mercedes new S Class Intelligent Drive and it is on the road now driving itself for up to 12 seconds. Ok don’t leave yet. It will get better I am sure. It can go up to 65 miles per hour. Hey most 16 year olds learning to drive have an attention span of 12 seconds too. Give Mercedes more time. In emergency situations it is known that humans react within one second but these new cars can react to danger within   milliseconds timing because computers are much faster than our reflexes thus being safer on the road than us even at our best. So should I get in the car and take a nap till I get there by myself?
Though accident free driving may be the goal, some critics worry that the technology may fail and then what do we do without a steering wheel,   brake or gas pedal?  I guess fears like these were felt when cars changed from the crank to a key start back in the 1920’s. The developers admit that they have seen the electronics go down on them and even if these cars are better than human drivers, they are acknowledging that the possibility of failure is very real. OUCH!

The dashboard of the future is being developed to reflect back to you within the windshield glass. Why do I need that if I don’t even need to look at the road anymore?  The thing is driving itself isn’t   it? The windshield will be gesture interactive while the car drives itself. What about the guy who is prone to giving the middle finger to everyone that cuts him off? Will the car do road rage? Probably not.

So a hand gesture could change my music selection for example. Google is so confident that their car will be so intelligent that if you get into an accident, they will pay for all the damages. We already have some cars that can parallel park themselves. All cars of the future will also be able to Perpendicular park themselves too. It will have 4 cameras and 12 sensors just to park. So no mirrors necessary either. Perpendicular parking is available on Mercedes Benz’s $120,000 car now.

As usual state laws have not caught up with technology yet. There is not a major metropolitan area that allows you to sit in a car and have it drive for you in America yet. The National Highway Safety Transportation Administration states that self-driving cars will not be allowed on the roads in America until they are proven safe and the technology becomes commercially economically viable. It is still very cool.

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