1.2 million people worldwide die of car accidents in year and 33000 of which occur in America. But Google believes that this does not necessarily have to be the case; in fact, their aim is to reduce car accidents by 90%. How? Well, it has been established for decades now, that machines can, sometimes, outsmart human capabilities. Taking that fact into account, and perhaps the fictional character ‘RoboCop’, Google has come up with what is called ‘Robo-taxis.’
These are exactly what their name suggests, robot-like cars that are designed to drive better and safer than you and I. Google’s skunkworks group, a project called Google X led by co-founder Sergey Brin has finally declared the design for its self-driven car. So the first thing you’d want to know about, naturally, is to what extend exactly is it self’ driven? If you’re aware of the auto-pilot feature in a helicopter or plane, you can refer to that to understand the whole concept, except Google’s idea has gone beyond that; this car has no steering wheel or pedals. This new version of Google’s self-driving technology was shown off by Brin at the Recode Conference, and it was a lot more than a retrofitted version of existing Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Two people can fit into this car and it has various computers and sensors on board that allow it drive completely on its own. Of course, it’s still a prototype but Google plans on creating 100 early versions of the wonder car just for testing this summer. These cars will remind you a lot of a Fiat 500 and perhaps a little of those talking animated cars in the Herbie series! Other than being ‘cute’, they will have some manual controls at first, in case anything goes wrong. They’ll be made using ‘off the shelf’ parts; intense use of foam and an electric motor or two.
Google has been very vague on the issue of which companies it’s planning on partnering with. But after a successful pilot program in California, they have confirmed that they will be partnering with companies for producing these cars for commercial purposes. However, it has been said that they are only at a ‘discussion level’ with contract manufacturers. So far, it seems that Google is headed towards success given the fact that there has been high demand for such an idea, especially for people who live in sparsely populated areas where commute lacks.