Archives For driverless

Lots made of driverless cars lately.

Completely insane?

That’s the theory posited by one recent post from the Nine Shift blog. (To be totally fair, this author is CLEARLY not a fan of the driverless car, by any means.)

The blog offers some of the standard arguments that Google’s theories that driverless cars will lead to zero road deaths are a hunk of, um, malarky. (And, let’s face it, that’s what they are.)

But the post goes even further: “Only the Americans could be so stupid as to propose driverless cars. All part of Google’s ongoing attempt to destroy its own motto, ‘Don’t be evil.'”

‘Google Driverless Car’ Icon Trademark

All driverless car nuts, make sure to check out this recent post from patentbolt.com, that talks through how Google has filed to get the trademark on their “Google Driverless Car” icon.

Which one did they choose?

Well, their selection was the one that’s a little bit more … creepy.

The choice is a weird yellow car with two eyes on the front, that’s slightly tilted like it’s damaged or there’s something wrong with it.

What’s going on … ?

The search giant went for their trademark under International Class 12, which covers “electronic system that allows autonomous driving of vehicles.”

Has anyone here seen I, Robot?

Yeah … let’s all get ready for this …

Wow.

Don’t put your orders in yet, true believers … because this sucker ain’t cheap!!!

According to a recent piece by ABC News, Google just disclosed that their super-buzzy driverless car prototype would cost U.S. consumers about $150,000 (an uber-pricey, $70,000 laser radar system is apparently a big part of that).

Ummmm, OK, so I hope that Bill Gates enjoys his driverless car. As for the rests of us …

Organ Transplantation No More?

A recent, rather odd post from DriverlessCarHQ.com claims that the advent of the driverless car will lead to … less organ donors!

The piece maintains that driverless cars driven by robots will naturally lead to less road fatalities — and as a consequence of that, less “solid organ donors.”

Wow, a little creepy there …

The post mentions that the successful promotion of seat belt campaigns, helmet laws and other safety promos have all statistically led to fewer organ donors for U.S. hospitals.

Well … at least it sounds like none of us will be able to afford driverless cars until the year 2136.

So until then, let the good organs roll!

‘Crashless’! But What Will They Be Called …

Robotic, driverless cars will … not … crash!

Yeah, suuuuuure they won’t …

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration associate administrator John Maddox says, “It’s not enough to be as safe as the human driver,” according to a recent article in The Detroit News. “We need to be crashless.”

Maddox was speaking at the MotorCity Casino Hotel (at a casino! haha …) in front of the Driverless Car Summit in Detroit. (Bet cha’ didn’t know that existed, did ya’?)

So … a gi-normous fleet of robot-driven cars will take to U.S. roads and never suffer a single crash? They will be “crashless”?

Sure they won’t.

Maddox went on to say that he didn’t know if we would end up calling them “driverless,” “autonomous,” “automated,” or something else entirely.

Let’s face it … I think it will be many, many years before we have to worry about what to call them.

Is the Sunshine State ready to meet George Jetson?

Some critics are calling “driverless cars” just a Jules Verne or “Jetsons”-like futuristic dream fantasy, but others are lauding the potential development as the biggest in automotive technology since the horse and buggy days.

“We may be at a historic cusp where driverless cars share the road,” Edmunds.com editor Carroll Lachnit told The Sacramento Bee. “The (technological) pieces are all there.”

The paper says California may be positioning itself to be a leader in self-driven cars, with MIT-trained state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, introducing a bill that would make it legal for driverless cars to use public roads. The bill says (for now) that a licensed human driver would have to be in the driver’s seat — and able to take the wheel at any time.

Nevada passed similar legislation last year.

Send in the Lawyers!

The real roadblocks on this crazy, driverless adventure are (of course!) legal ones.

Discovery News asked: “Who will pay if an autonomous vehicle causes a wreck — the human occupant or the company that built the software? And what about a future of driverless coupled with ‘drivered’ cars?”

You can quickly imagine the problems.

Many legal pundits and bloggers and crying out, “Dude, where’s your sanity?” and calling any thoughts of developments on the driverless front pure “fantasy.”

Plaintiff’s firm blog oreillylaw.com writes, ” just because the human imagination can conceive of new vehicles in which to travel doesn’t mean a particular vehicle can be created in practice. Or, as in the case of Google’s so-called driverless car, that it can be created to run safely anytime soon without causing too many car accidents.”

Maybe it’s just that no one knows who’s driving this bus …