Are self-driving cars in our near future?

Imagine this… Friday night and you just had a night out with your friends. It’s been about an hour since you had your last beer and you are contemplating a cab or driving home yourself. Is it worth the risk? Are you still too intoxicated to drive? Asking yourself these questions, is the obvious answer that you should probably hail a cab or catch a ride with a friend. Wait a second… why can’t technology help in your inibriated state?

Well… Google can help with that… You have the latest self-driving car. So hop in your car, tell google maps to take you home, and feel free to rest your eyes as your self-driving car navigates you safely back to your house.

In an article written by TechCrunch the Executive Chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, gave the world a little insight into the Google self-driving car program. Schmidt says that the cars are, “not yet ready for productization.” He says that they are facing several challenges such as getting individual states to approve this self-driving program, currently Nevada is the only state to approve this program. If any any state knows how to gamble, it’s gotta be Nevada!

One of the problems that they are having with the Google self-driving car is actually kind of funny. Schmidt says that, “the current biggest problem is that it runs at the speed limit and nobody drives at the speed limit.” Well… Damnit! Build a self-driving car that knows how to break the law! And… that’s exactly what they did. Apparently, Google has prototypes that do not run at the speed limit. During the annual press talk, Schmidt revealed that Google had a racecourse in an undisclosed location, where the car would race human-driven cars, and win!

Back to the drinking and driving issue. Schmidt had stated that there are over 35k people killed each year due to drunk driving accidents in the US. This is supposedly a good statistic, since it has been sustained over the last few years… Ridiculous! Schmidt says, “the sooner we can get cars to drive for us the more lives we can save… self-driving cars should become the predominant mode of transportation in our lifetime.”

So, hopefully in the near future we won’t have to contemplate whether we’ve had to much to drink or not, and whether it’s a good idea to drive home after a few beers. In the press talk Schmidt was asked how he feels about the technophobic early adopters will actually adopt this new technology, “depends on how drunk they are” Schmidt replies… So true!