Revolution through Evolution

Google gets its self-driving cars on road

Google’s driverless car project has taken another step towards having more in-market appeal and customer approachability. The latest prototypes of these cars are already being flaunted by the tech giant in Mountain View, California.

And although these cars are finally up and running on city streets they are still far from the Lightning-McQueen dream and have “safety-drivers” in the cockpit. Armed with a removable steering wheel, accelerators and brake pedals (and with probably a prayer on their lips), these drivers are there to avoid any mishaps. The test-runs have gone smoothly without any major incidents so far with the cars running on the same system software that had powered the first Lexus-made prototypes.

However, there are many obstacles lying in the way of the next generation going all I-Robot (and No, a paranoid Will Smith is not one of them). With the look of a lost polar bear and the speed of a second hand Nano, these cars, although technologically resplendent, are not your average New Year’s investment. Google’s dream of an accident-free world would only come true if each and every one of us has a Google-Car. It’s hard to imagine that when there are still no guarantees of safety in case of rain, snow or the idiots from the ad of Ceat tyres. Open manholes alone could defeat the whole purpose of these cars and God knows we don’t have a shortage where open gutters are concerned. Until and unless the entire route is mapped into the car beforehand, all that exists between you and an Indian version of Nearly-headless Nick is a touchscreen keyboard which might not even work if your hands are too sweaty.

Hence, there are many stones left before the one stepping to success appears in the horizon for Google’s dream of providing you with the “ultimate driving experience”. But on the brighter side, the project is witnessing new improvements every day. Google has started customizing the look and feel of these runty little pandas and trying to make them more approachable under the blanket name “my community, my neighbours”.

Whatever the end result of this drive(pun-intended) might be, one has got to give Google the credit for trying to usher in a new era of technological innovations through their continuous efforts in the field of R&D. Occasional failures are there but what matters is their sincere struggle to explore the unchartered and redefine our reach into the universe of impossibility.

Harshit Singh

I spend most of my short and lonely weekends drowned in magazines and books with the unlikely dream of becoming an author myself someday. With a love for technology and a lot of idle time i somehow manage to pen down my musings for all the other techno geeks like myself out there.