When you think of a blind driver, you may picture horrendous accidents and reckless driving. Google is seeking to change that image with the introduction of their self driving car. This is not like any car that you can imagine – it truly is unique and one of few of its kind.
A three minute video uploaded to YouTube shows a pre-programmed route being driven by this very car. The “driver” a man with loss of over 95% of his vision is enjoying the ride. Google officials joined the man on the drive and classified him as user #0000000001 when the trip was completed. While this may have been the very first time the car was taken out on real roads, it has been subjected to many miles of computer testing – over 200,000 miles in fact.
The best part, the man is eating something from Taco Bell while the Toyota Prius is driving by herself :
The car is not on the market now and is not projected to be on the market in the near future. However, Google has been very successful in demonstrating that the existing boundaries of technology are only there to be pushed, tested and expanded upon. The car will have to meet many safety standards before it can ever be listed on the market. This means that it will undergo rigorous testing in order to be certified as road safe.
Google is not the first company to experiment with driverless vehicles. Continental has been experimenting with a modified Volkswagen – a Passat to be specific – that is working on achieving 10,000 miles of road testing. This car may very soon be seen on the roads in Nevada. Once the testing hits the 10,000 mile mark with at least 90% of the testing involving no touching of the pedals or steering wheels, the car will be certified for the roads.
Blind people will no longer be limited by a handicap – a marvelous feat, indeed.