The Tom Cruise movie Minority Report predicted a ton of new technology, but one of the most useful had to be the self-driving cars that whirled around director Steven Spielberg’s vision of the future. Well, the future is now! Technology giant Google unveiled findings from tests using self-driving robot cars and have gone pretty far with little to no driver control: over 140,000 miles.
Imagine riding around in a plush car as it drove itself, able to watch movies, work on a computer or take a nap while en route to wherever you need to be. All that with no need to stand on a train platform or at a bus stop. Almost perfect, right? If you’re anything like us – with a commute each day in traffic – this new technology will make life amazing. We can’t wait for this to become a standard feature!
The technology uses a variety of proximity sensors such as laser guidance and radar to find and avoid obstacles. Linked with GPS through a computer for routing, these cars can go anywhere you ask them to without your help!
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, this kind of automotive wizrdry is set to improve all kinds of driving in the future – much like Minority Report technology did in the film. One of the major bonuses would be less traffic and faster commutes with networks guiding cars to keep a steady pace rather than the stop-and-go of gridlock. Finally, something to make people merge correctly.
Check out a video below of the Google robot car caught in the wild by a passenger in a passing vehicle. You can tell it’s different than the Google Street View cars since it doesn’t have the massive camera mounted atop a pole.
In all the testing on the Google self driving car, there was only a single collision, and that came when the car was rear-ended by someone else! That’s a healthy indicator that self driving and computer controlled autos have come a long way.
How would you like to get chauffeured by a car straight out of Minority Report? Does is seem scary or awesome? Let us know in the comments section.
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