Perhaps you dudes have heard, but there’s a reason I’m not going back to Las Vegas or, really, anywhere in Nevada for a long, long while.
Turns out, Nevada just agreed to let Google’s driverless cars operate on public streets in that state. Yeah, driverless cars.
Cars controlled by computer systems, just like the computer system that controls your computer. You know, the one that keeps crashing? The one that can’t keep running without a patch or an update every 13.2 seconds? Yeah, that one.
On Monday, Nevada became the first to approve a license for “autonomous vehicles” — in other words, cars that cruise, twist and turn without the need for a driver — on its roads.
In a 2010 post on Google’s official blog, engineer and Google X founder Sebastian Thrun said that the self-driving vehicle project aims “to help prevent traffic accidents, free up people’s time and reduce carbon emissions by fundamentally changing car use.”
He noted that the “automated cars use video cameras, radio sensors and a laser range finder to ‘see’ other traffic, as well as detailed maps … to navigate the road ahead.” There is no driver needed, though one is typically in the front seat ready to take control if need be.
As of this spring, Google researchers had supposedly logged more than 200,000 miles of test driving for the driverless vehicle, which uses a suite of sensors and cameras, coordinated by collision avoidance software, to monitor the surrounding area and direct the direction and speed of the vehicle.
Other than the fact that there’s no one sitting behind the wheel, the only other way to tell one of these cars is to look for the red license tag with AU on it. The AU stands for autonomous vehicle. Although, shouldn’t that be AV? Well, whatever.
So, yeah. I think I’ll be staying out of the state for a while. I already worry that there’s brain-dead drivers on the road. Now I’ve got to be concerned with the completely, literally, brain-less drivers? No thanks.