Google has begun construction on a fleet of driverless cars that will be tested during the end of the year. The benefits of the possibilities of driverless cars have been examined by analysts of various fields. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, said in an interview on Tuesday how excited he is to change the world of transportation, and how proud he is that people who are too young, too old, or disabled will be able to get around more easily. The internet institution plans to build 100-200 prototypes. The cars do not have steering wheels, gas pedals, or brake pedals, but they come equipped with intelligent sensors and software to steer clear of accidents and other obstacles. Brin concluded by stating that the cars have not had a single accident during testing.
The benefits of driverless cars, which are currently being accelerated by Google, and how they will change the world were hypothesized by Forbes’s Richard Martin. Martin said that the vehicles would begin as public transportation, where commuters would be able to summon a vehicle via “smartphone app.” Then the cars would be utilized for delivery to businesses and people. As the benefits become more suitable, the areas of use will expand; eventually leading to conventional vehicles with drivers becoming finite, and ultimately excluded. Martin says that the marketing of the transportation vehicles will change dramatically. Cars would be perceived more as a service than a possession, where manufacturers will advertise the quality of their “fleets” of vehicles instead of appealing to the individual need for a car.
Martin also commented on the benefits that may occur in vehicle design for Google’s driverless cars. According to the Forbes writer, vehicles would be tailored to wherever they are driving. “City cars” will be smaller and efficient, and highway cars will be fast and safe. Joan Lowy of the Associated Press stated that the vehicles are far more superior to human drivers. They are so efficient, that a study estimated that self-driving cars and trucks could eliminate a vast amount of accidents and traffic, creating billions of dollars in economic benefits. Lowy did state that the amount of computing software for these vehicles cost around $100,000 per car, which she stated would be unaffordable for most people. With mass production, however, affordability would be assured over time. She cited a study that estimated if only ten percent of the vehicles on the road were driverless, traffic deaths would be reduced by 10,000.
Computer World’s Lucas Mearian stated that the benefits of Google’s driverless cars include savings of up to $450 billion, and prevention of the deaths of 21,700 of drivers. Mearian cited that 90 percent of accidents are caused by user error. He described humans’ inefficiency of determining road conditions, which a computer could predetermine hours in advance. Also, humans operate vehicles while intoxicated or impaired, something a computer could never do. He compliments Google’s driverless cars abilities to communicate with other cars about their route and planned actions, thus making accidents and heavily congested traffic extremely rare in a world where these vehicles are widely utilized.
By Andres Loubriel