Google's Self-Driving Car: Changing the Way We Move

Google's Self-Driving Car: Changing the Way We Move

Recently, California signed a law that made self-driving cars legal on its roads. Google, the omnipresent tech giant, is behind this breakthrough technology. Google seems to have taken breakthrough science seriously because after Google Glass, it now embarks on a new venture that certainly will change the way we move.

This new self-driving car will stop at red lights, slow down for passing cars, and it’ll reach destination accurately on its own. The company has been working on this car since 2009 and it touts safety as its biggest attribute. A lot of technology goes into creating the magic of autonomous driving. There’s a spinning laser device mounted atop the car, emitting 1.5 million beams per second up to 230 feet in all directions. “Adaptive cruise control” radar, which senses movement more than 650 feet around the car, sits on the front grille. A camera on the windshield looks for traffic lights, signs, and traffic cones.

Does Google’s initiative come from the desire of being at the forefront of technological breakthroughs and creating trailblazing devices? Or is it more out of a desire of future-proofing its business?

Think about how the future of search is changing. Google wants to be in every place we could potentially use search. It's focus on being the first on devices of the future is a result of the threat that its bread and butter business, search, faces. And with its financial muscle and political leverage in states like California, Google can pull this off. I can see how self-driving cars will be immensely liberating for those who can’t drive. Seniors and disabled is a group that immediately comes to mind.

But what if something goes wrong and this cool car meets with an accident? Who is liable? What will an insurance for a self driving car look like? We’ll have to change the insurance policies entirely. And as for the experience, will it be safe to assume that when passengers are not getting nervous riding in a driver-less car, they probably will be watching relentless pop-up ads as they hitch a ride?

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