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Google Unveils Robot-Driven Car

| Oct 12, 2010

All auto manufacturers are in a race to see who can come up with the latest safety technology that will make for safer cars, and boost sales in a struggling market.  Now it seems the tech sector is joining in, with Google being the latest company to work on developing a safer car.  The main difference?  Their car doesn't have a driver.  According to this article which cites the New York Times, "Google has been working in secret but in plain view on vehicles that can drive themselves, using artificial intelligence software that can sense anything near the car and mimic the decisions made by a human driver."

Google has been working on adaptive cruise control which can automatically respond to upcoming accidents, slowdowns, or road hazards such as a fog bank.  They claim that this robot control will make us safer drivers.  So far, these cars have driven over a thousands miles without any human input, and over 140,000 miles with minimal human input.  The only accident the cars have been involved in was when one was rear-ended while waiting at a stop light.

As a South Carolina personal injury lawyer , I'm always intrigued to hear about new technology that could improve driver safety.  However, some of the new tools on the market seem to take more and more control away from the driver.  My worry as a North Charleston personal injury lawyer is that this will cause drivers to not put as much focus, effort, or attention into driving.  In the New York Times article, John Markoff hit the nail on the head when he wrote, "Under current law, a human must be in control of a car at all times, but what does that mean if the human is not really paying attention as the car crosses through, say, a school zone, figuring that the robot is driving more safely than he would?"

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