The Google Car: Look Ma, no hands...or feet!
Google is apparently very far along in testing an automated car, one that drives itself using artificial intelligence software.
This is science fiction brought to life, folks. The NY Times has a detailed story on the topic. The pilot project has logged 140,000 miles with the small fleet of Toyota Priuses they've outfitted with the technology -- and no accidents, except for "when one Google car was rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light," according to the Times piece.
Much of what's been written about Google's research on this so far has been cast in somewhat altruistic terms -- Google wants to help prevent or eliminate the 37,000 annual driving deaths.
But beyond that, if Google can make the car work without direct human intervention, that frees up millions of hours every day for drivers on their long commutes to do what? That's right: SURF THE INTERNET. And the more people surf and search on the Web, the more Google makes money.
The car could truly become the next living room, on wheels.
TechCrunch has some more details and video footage, including this piece:
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