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Google Makes Self-Driving Car - Is this the future of Travel?

Updated on December 30, 2014

Google's Original Car

This was the original concept for the car as released in February 2013.
This was the original concept for the car as released in February 2013. | Source

The Story of Google's Car

Google came up with the idea of creating a car that was completely driver free; which means that any company or person who wanted to get something somewhere could tell the car where to go and then the car would just drive there on it's own using a GPS. However, Calfornia has laws stating that each vehicle must have a driver and some sort of controls, so that the car would not be free to roam and cause accidents; like any malfunctioning self-driving car might do. So, now Google needs to create their car a bit differently and, while this might be a road-block to their overall plan, it has not stopped them from making an amazing car.

Another Original Concept

This white original concept car looks much different than the actual prototype.
This white original concept car looks much different than the actual prototype.

Possible Changes

The car has been changed a lot already since they made their original ideas last February. The prototype Google has finally made looks very different than the original white and blue models. Now that the prototype is built, they have a lot of testing to do, as well as a lot of planning to get the car into the auto industry. Part of this planning includes teaming up with an auto company to ensure that the car is able to reach it's target audience. However, which auto company in their right mind would want a car that drives itself? This could kill the auto industry...but, whichever company takes the car under it's wing could thrive.

Now, California's laws of needing a driver would keep the car from being owned and shared by multiple people in multiple places (which with Google's original model, people could just program to car to go to the home of it's next driver and these cars could be owned by multiple people). However, this car still poses problems for both the automobile and insurance companies; having an army of cars that essentially drive themselves means less accidents, which means smaller insurance payments and less cars bought in a person's lifetime. However, this also means that there may be an increased number of people who are able to drive; since the car practically drives itself, people will only need to be able to navigate much less controls and, therefore, more people might be able to get licenses if they are driving this car.

Current Google Self-Driving Car Prototype

This car maybe small, but that means better gas millage.  This model was released last week.
This car maybe small, but that means better gas millage. This model was released last week.

What's with the Smart Car look?

As you can see from the picture on the right, the Google self-driving car has an appearance that reminds us all of a Smart Car. And, while smart cars get a lot of insults for being unsafe, the Google Car is anything but. The Google Car is able to drive itself, but has manually operated controls that still cover California's laws of needing a driver. This means that you basically have two drivers; one that is within the car itself that can catch anything that you don't, and you! Besides, can you image roads filled with these little cars? Not only would it be safer based on the fact that the car will be looking out for each other, but it would also be faster; less room taken up on the roads means that more lanes can be built and more people can get where they need to go faster and more efficiently. Also, to mention efficiency, this car will practically be our chauffeur!

First Prototype

The only noticeable difference between this prototype and the other one is color.  Which one do you like better?
The only noticeable difference between this prototype and the other one is color. Which one do you like better?

Is this really the future of travel?

Yes, yes it is. As the world is becoming more and more filled with technology, things are becoming faster and easier for us to do as we live our everyday lives. Think about it: fifty years ago, if you wanted to show someone across the world a picture of your new fish tank, you would have to take a picture, wait for it to develop, put it in an envelope, and get it internationally delivered to them; which took weeks, maybe even months! However, now you can just take a picture on your smartphone and text or email it to them, and it arrives in an instant. The same is true of travel.

While the smartphone has made the speed of information almost instantaneous, our means of travel are not yet (unless teleportation becomes available soon) close to that. So, what is the next best thing? Traveling hands-free. If someone is able to travel long distances affordably, while still being able to talk legally on their cell phones and check emails with their laptops, they can be productive while still traveling the same speed they were if they were driving alone. Soon maybe we will make affordable flying cars where we will just select a location on a GPS, float up into the air and let it take us where we need to go. Now, the laws will require that we know how to manually control it, but I'm sure some of us would be excited to learn how to drive a flying car (I know I would!).

The Driving Test

What do you think?

While I may think this is the future of travel, what are your thoughts? Do you think this will replace limo and taxi drivers as these cars get safer and laws get more lenient? Do you think they will malfunction and cause accidents? Are you confident and like the design? Do you wish it was bigger? Please share your thought below! I would love to know what everyone thinks about this new Google innovation! And share this with your friends, the more people we get giving feedback on this, the more knowledge Google will have when trying to make the next version of their car!

Thoughts on the Prototype

What do you think of Google's Self-Driving Car?

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