The innovators at Google believe they are close to changing the transportation industry.
Automation is changing the way America does business, many experts doubt that President Elect Donald Trump will actually be able to save millions of jobs because of the increasing number of companies that rely on automation.
Automation extending past the factory lines, and into everyday life is the one threshold that science has not truly crossed.
Train conductor robots, or automated airplane pilots are not in in full scale development from what I have heard, but what about a self driven car?
How lovely would that be?
Of course some of us enjoy driving, see it as a form of leisure.
But there is a large number of Americans who would certainly use the technology if it was available to them.
Google has working prototypes of the innnovation in active development, and they announced today in a statement that the impossible is closer than we think.
Google is spinning off its self-driving car program into a separate company called Waymo.
Waymo CEO John Krafcik said Tuesday that its autonomous driving technology has reached an inflection point.
“We’re close to bringing this to a lot of people,” said Krafcik who declined to reveal when the general public would have a chance to ride in one of Waymo’s vehicles.
Google is testing the vehicles in Washington, California, Arizona and Texas.
Waymo is currently a unit of X, the so-called moonshot division of Google (GOOGL, Tech30). It will become a unit of Alphabet and be an independent company.
Of course this very exciting, progression is good for society in general.
But there is concern here.
If one of these cars is proven to be defective, if something goes wrong, the loss of life could be severe.
This isn’t an app, or a new version of Windows, this is a 2 ton machine that will be weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds.
There certainly should be a sense of accomplishement within Google, this will prove to be spectacular when the machines hit the market.
But they have to be concerned with liability, the first time there is an accident involving one of these cars, the victims will point the finger at Google.
Technology cuts both ways, and in this case, the world might not be ready for self driven cars.
The regulation issues will be through the roof, the lawmakers in Washingotn DC will want assurances that peoples lives will not be in danger when these machines hit the open road.
Until there is zero chance human life is at risk, Google might be better served selling the technology to the government.