Human error causes 90 per cent of road deaths. Google thinks computers can do it better, and it wants to use its data mining chops, plus presumably vast amounts of money it’s got to spend somehow, to make the roads safer by introducing self-driving cars. That is cars controlled by machines rather than people.
Prototype pod cars are currently driving around Google’s Mountain View HQ in California. And the internet search giant is hopeful self-driving cars will be on the roads within five years. Many people are against this development. They like driving and are reluctant to hand over the controls to a computer.
But as a city cyclist who doesn’t want to die there are a lot of good reasons to be pro the Google self-driving car. Here are 12 of them.
1) Jeremy Clarkson will hate it.
So will his tank-driving followers. Reason enough to love it?
2) It’s programmed to stick to the speed limits.
Even if it’s running late for shit. The Google car’s limit is currently capped at 25mph.
3) It will keep a safe distance behind you.
Rather than riding scarily close or whooshing past so near you shudder from the air blast.
4) It can sense your hand movements.
Not those kind of gestures, the useful direction-indicating ones.
5) It expects you do to stupid stuff.
Like jump red lights or have sudden brain melts as this guy does, and will react accordingly.
6) It won’t get distracted by a text.
Or in this fool’s case a TV show playing on his laptop.
7) It knows you’re a cyclist whatever you’re wearing.
Even if your shape isn’t suggesting MAMIL in tight lycra.
8) It will respect the boundary of the bike lane.
Unlike every car/taxi/van/lorry ever.
9) Everything one car learns the whole fleet learns.
So this ultimate hive mind will have way more experience of what a cyclist may do than even the most seasoned car driver.
10) It has 360 degree visibility and no blind spots.
So when this SUV (top purple box on the right) nearly hit a cyclist (turquoise box) travelling through his blind spot, the silver Google car stayed on its spot until the rider had passed.
11) It doesn’t race off at green lights.
It waits 1.5 seconds as research shows a high proportion of accidents happen right after a light turns green.
12) It never beeps its horn.
That most macho of ‘Get out my way’ car driver hollers. It never gets angry or vindictive at all. Though it does have an emergency stop button the car’s passenger can use so you’re not at the total mercy of the machine.
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