Is a Google self-driving car in your future?

By Jeri Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International

Is your next car one that drives itself? It could be. We’re already seeing cars that park themselves. That’s a cool feature. No more backing and filling trying to squeeze into a tight spot. The car does all the work for you. This makes me think of the TV series, Knight Rider, where the black KITT car was more of a partner than a vehicle driven by David Hasselhoff.

A  video on Victor Luckerson”s article about Google’s driver-less cars (time.com) shows an example of someone arriving at Costco and walking into the store while the car goes to find a parking space. Does it know when you come out with your basket full of supplies? Maybe you just whistle and the car drives up, opens the trunk, and waits till you load it up. Does it follow you to the shopping cart rack as you return the cart or just wait patiently blocking traffic? Hey! Maybe by this time, the carts will return themselves. Now that’s a feature I can go for!

Self-driving carsDoug Aamoth – Self-driving cars – Time.com

My concern with self-driving cars is that we will become complacent about driving. We’re already there: checking the navigation system in the car and texting while driving. When the car completely takes over, we humans will find something else to do while the car drives us to our destination. Like the commercial of the man driving the RV who gets up from the wheel to enjoy popcorn with his family at the table. We’ll be busy talking, rocking out to music, napping, and not paying attention when something goes wrong with the sensors or the computer system. Then what?

Is there a way we can do both and still be safe? Who will be at fault when a driverless car gets into a serious accident and someone is hurt or killed? Google’s cars have already been in accidents….but they say they were due to human error. That’s all well and good, but I can’t count the number of times my laptop computer has had a brain fart and I’ve had to re-boot. Try doing that with a driver-less car going 75 mph on the interstate!

It’s coming, so I guess we may as well get comfortable with it. Personally, I’m reserving judgement with a healthy dose of skepticism.

But then there’s this article along the same lines that shares two studies which prove driver-less cars (or robot-driven cars) actually cause fewer traffic accidents than those driven by humans! Maybe a robot car is in my future after all!!

What do you think about this new technology?