I came across this article about Google working on a self-driving car.
Engadget: Google asks car makers ‘Ullo John, wanna self-driving motor?’
If you really sit down and think about what a driver-less car entails, you’ll realize that this is a huge project! The car has to do everything from determine where the road is on well-marked and unmarked roads, determine if a car is parked or stopped at a red-light, and understand road signs. This is a huge undertaking.
This DARPA video might provide some interesting insight as to what these projects have done:
In my opinion, this step is too big. I would rather see us work on our car interface. Cars seem so antiquated when compared with our computers and phones.
For example, I can pull music from many different places on my phone or computer. I can choose to repeat a song or a playlist of songs. Now, I can share my songs between devices without having to carry around a tape or CD. In my truck, it’s a different story! I actually have a nice CD player in my truck that even supports MP3. But, it is still missing very key features. I can set it to repeat a single song, but I can’t have it repeat a single CD (it’s a 6-disc changer) much less a play list. I can create folders on a MP3 CD and navigate between the folders, but I can’t have it randomly play files from a single folder. In a world full of touch screens and LCD panels, my CD player just has a LED display. I am just thankful it can actually kind of show the title of a song or which track of the CD it is playing!
I could go on about the interface to many different parts of the truck. My cruise control is functional, but nothing like the interface I am used to on the computer. I appreciate the “Distance to Empty” feature, but compared to the stats on my blog or cpu, that is nothing.
The Tesla vehicles have really caught my attention for their attempt to improve this interface. You can get a small glimpse from this video:
So, my opinion is that we should be focusing on improving the car’s interface rather than trying to get rid of the driver.