Google unveils a self-driving car with no steering wheel, brakes or accelerator

By Himanshu Arora · 29 replies
May 28, 2014
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  1. Google has been working on self-driving cars for quite a while now, but yesterday the company showed off the next step: a driverless car without steering wheel, accelerator and brakes. The vehicle, which the company has built from scratch, relies...

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  2. CyberFlux

    CyberFlux TS Member

    Soon everyone will have self driving cars.
    Jad Chaar and Docus like this.
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,886   +1,222

    I'm sure it'll save money in building the car, but they really need to realize that people are not willing to absolutely 100% trust a computer, especially with driving.

    I would love a car to be able to drive on the freeway without my help for long trips. But not even including controls?! Are they even making these for humans?! People buy SUV's so they can have freedom to put many people and lots of stuff in their car. They buy 4-wheel drive so they have the freedom to drive in the snow. They buy trucks so they have freedom to move whatever they want and tow something too. Get the theme here, Google? People like freedom and control.

    Not to mention, who is going to want to type in a destination every time they need to go get a gallon of milk?
  4. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    You forget that once you've been there twice you'll just have to say "Ok Google, Need milk" and it will take you there. Also your month milk consumption will be reported back to the NSA.
  5. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    I'm fairly certain that did not originate from Google, but rather a hen house.
  6. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,660   +1,948

    In soon to appear obituaries: "..., lost his life to bug №3457287, patch for which came too late".
    stewi0001 likes this.
  7. I think google has to much money to spend.
  8. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Like it or not, autonomous cars will be the norm one of these days.
  9. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,681   +1,079

    I think having a manual override would be a good idea....

    Also that car's face is creepy
  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,472   +126

    Google the search engine is now the self-drive vehicle manufacturer. They should take the billions help start bring back some jobs in rural America and if your going to make these vehicles start opening up new business in dead town to bring them back to full circle again.
  11. RedVines

    RedVines TS Rookie

    Please, please build these faster before my daughter gets her license....

    How would these work in parking lots? Without controls, wouldn't it just stop on the side of the road at the programmed destination?
  12. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138
  13. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    I'd be curious to see how this works in the city where GPS signals can have reflections which cause signal drift. I'd guess that a mixture of laser, wheel sensors, and likely radio signals are at play with this little car, but I'd like to know more.

    I once heard that the cost on the computer and it's sensor package would be in the $100K price range. How is Google going to sell this car if that's the case?
  14. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    What if you want to go somewhere else to buy milk? What if you need to buy milk on your way home, but the nearest grocery store is closer to your work? What is the point of self-driving cars?
  15. Geezermobile
  16. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 683   +253

    That would be my question also. I see self-driving cars as nothing but a product for a niche market. I cannot fathom millions of self-driving vehicles on the interstates of the United States of America without massive issues.

    I think Google is doing this just because they can. Too little for too much. We ask why. Google says, "why not?". That's it.
  17. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,886   +1,222

    I think the reason why is easy. It's because over 30,000 people die every year because of driver errors. Drunk driving would be a thing of the past. The irony is, it would increase drinking because people wouldn't have to drive home.

    Even if you don't have one, if many people do and accident rates go down, then your insurance would go down. The savings to drastically reducing accident rates are huge.

    I don't think the issue is whether we should have them, the issue is how will we trust them?
    Last edited: May 28, 2014
  18. I think the car's face is pretty serious...they could have put a little smile face on the car...
  19. Who do you sue when you get hit by one? It's not like you can blame the driver beyond they are responsible for buying the thing. :)

    I can just see a bird flying in front of the thing causing it to lock up it's brakes and the semi behind it turning it into a plastic manhole cover. :)
  20. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Amazing endeavour by Google, but they really need to overcome the problem of hacking. If someone finds a way to hack their software, lives could be at risk!
  21. cmbjive

    cmbjive TS Booster Posts: 777   +138

    I don't think that driverless cars will have any impact on that number. People will still want to drive their own cars and there will have to be a kill switch or a takeover mechanism that will kick in if the car's computers go awry. In addition, all cars have blind spots: Google says this car has a vision radius of over two football fields, but what is its immediate detection radius around the car? If a car accidentally tries to merge into the same lane as a driverless car what will the driverless car do?

    Why is Google all gung ho about a driverless car anyway?
  22. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 683   +253

    Which leads back to the original question. If we can't trust them should we have them? Your looking at one aspect and using that as the justification for the whole concept. There are thousands of accident per year that have nothing to do with drunk driving. Your suggesting that driver less cars will be 100.00% accident free? Surely you aren't but that's what it sounds like. That goes back to my original statement once again. I don't see that fantasy translating into a reality. Technology fails us all the time.
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    Which was first, the chicken or the egg? No we can't trust them. But we will never be able to trust them, if innovation doesn't move forward. I don't believe we are technologically advanced enough to support automated cars. But that doesn't mean that day will not come. In-fact without first putting a car on the highway, we would never know what those advances will need to be.
  24. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 683   +253

    What is the overarching purpose of self-driving cars? If somebody doesn't want to drive, we have taxi cabs, buses, etc. A rich person can hire a limousine and be escorted around. How will poor people afford these $100,000 vehicles? How will millions of driver less cars interact with each other on the highways? Will the car be able to make moral decisions like semi-tractor trailers have to make? Do I veer off the road to avoid crashing into cars in front? Do I hit the deer and kill it or do I swerve around it?

    It's fine as an experiment. Rich people got lots of money they can do whatever they want with it(for the most part). I've been hearing that cars will run on h2o for a few years now so I'll tuck this story away in that folder as well.

    Cost is a huge factor, safety, etc.

    And just an fyi. I would rather Google invest their time developing a car that runs on h2o versus this pipe dream. But it is what it is. The h2o product is probably a pipe dream also but one I would rather be dreaming.
  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,713   +3,688

    I'm fairly certain those same questions were ask, about having robotic factories. Now look at where we are.

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