President Obama just dropped a ton of cash to propagate self-driving cars. Not long after finishing his final State of the Union address, Obama picked up a pen and signed off on a plan that feeds $4 Billion over 10 years into autonomous car development.
The cash drop is part of a broader initiative Obama mentioned during his address to build a 21st century transportation system.
The same initiative also works to develop model policies that will help level the playing field for self-driving vehicles across the nation. Right now, the road rules are kind of all over the place, different in each state, and that is if there are any rules at all. This initiative should help fix that problem, which will surely come as a relief to Google and Uber, among others.
Speaking of Google and Self-driving cars: In case you missed it, a report Google submitted to the Department of Motor Vehicles in California indicates that if humans hadn’t intervened, Google autonomous vehicles would have autonomously gotten themselves into at least 13 accidents. In total, humans riding in Google’s test vehicles had to take the wheel and slam on the brakes a total of 272 times over 14 months.
Google took data from those situations, ran simulations and determined that of those 272 times, 13 of them would probably have resulted in a collision of some sort. Now, if we take the 420,000 miles those cars traveled over those 14 months and divide by 13, that works out to be an accident once every 32,300 miles or so. I don’t think I like those numbers right now, how about you? Maybe that $4 Billion from the White House will help iron things out. Let’s hope so.
Vegans: Tesla has a new car smell for you! One of the Tesla Model X’s available options, apparently, is for faux leather seat and steering wheel material. Apparently rich Vegans have been quick to point out that an eco-friendly car with animal products in it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. So, now potential buyers of the Model X electric SUV can opt for the faux hide and scoot along with a clear conscience that doesn’t involve settling for cloth seats.
Ugh, can you just imagine the horror of cloth seats? I guess if you can afford luxury, then you can help move sustainability along, too. I’m gonna leave you to think about that one and sign off for the weekend. Be sure to check DigitalTrends.com all weekend long for helpful guides, breaking news, and plenty of just-for-fun tech stories. That’s it for DT Daily this week, see ya on Monday.