The future of cars is steadily coming sharper into focus with every advancement of technology they receive, and it looks like autonomy is going to be a big part of it. While many car manufactures are working on some sort of auto-pilot feature, non-automaker Google is making its own driverless vehicle from scratch, and that’s just the start of how they plan to change driving as we know it.
Speaking at the Society of Automotive Engineers’ annual conference, Google’s Ray Kurzweil spoke about the project and what it means to the future of driving safety.
“Google cars have gone close to a million miles without incident,” Kurzweil said, according to NDTV Gadgets. He continues to say that the AI technology works, and it isn’t too far away from becoming commonplace. Just when that will be isn’t clear though.”The technology is not going to be introduced until it’s ready.”
Kurzweil went on to reaffirm the confidence Google has on the potential of a self driving car and what it means to highway safety. “Some day an autonomous car will cause an accident and it will be big news. But while we’ve been talking several people have died from human drivers.”
As the car that Google is developing differs wildly from the traditional formula of cars as we know them, the driverless car will make a key impact in the sharing culture we have started to cultivate with services like ZipCar and Uber. Kurzweil believes that people will still buy cars and prefer to drive, but those who rely on cabs and car services will benefit greatly from a network of cars similar to what Google is working on. That, coupled with the increasing efficiency of electric batteries and solar power advancements, could further change the landscape of cars.
Automakers and analysts predict that the technology and regulation for autonomous cars will both be ready for prime-time in the year 2020. We have no doubt people will still be driving themselves around for a while, but we should start getting used to sharing the road with robots soon.