Google shows off new and improved 'self-driving' car

By Dean Hughes,

Google has been on the forefront of strange and interesting innovations in the “things you’d never think you needed” category. While many of these products—like Google Glass—are still finding their footing in the tech realm, one of their most exciting technologies has been that of the “self-driving” car.

First unveiled to the public back in 2012, the initial video announcement featured Steve Mahan—a blind man who (before the self-driving car) was unable to move independently through the world.

Many who were initially puzzled by Google’s investment into this seemingly useless technology began to change their minds as time went on. Many claims were made about the widespread applicability of self-driving cars—namely that, through its use of radar, motion detectors, and GPS, it could theoretically be more effective at driving then the majority of humans.

We were asked to envision a day where our cars were part of a massive network that could function in preventing car accidents that occur from either chemical impairment or general human error. Essentially, we could be saving 40,000 people every year.

In this newest video we see a group (that includes Steve Mahan) testing out these new electric, steering wheel-less prototype. The vehicle was built using off-the-shelf parts, according to the Verge, and closely resembles a Smart Car (save for the radar apparatus on the roof).

With the energy and passion Google has imbued in this technology, and the longterm effects they see it having on transportation, it would seem that this tiny car has big ambitions.



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