Google Pushes Self-Driving Cars Forward in Nevada

By Daniel Indiviglio

Skynet U.S. Robotics Google is positioning itself on the leading edge of yet another aspect of technology. If it has its way, we'll have self-driving cars sooner than you might think. Although it might seem like such an initiative has the company straying a bit from its search engine roots, you could look at this as the next step in its mapping endeavors. And besides, Google has thought outside the search box in the past, like with its smartphone and energy endeavors. Though, Google is beginning to look more and more like that giant tech company in sci-fi movies with good intentions that accidentally sets machines against humankind.

John Scott Lewinski from CNET reports:

Google is already testing the robot cars in California successfully, with seven test cars traveling more than 1,000 miles without need for human intervention, despite a driver stationed behind the wheel and a technician to monitor the navigation system. At the time of the California tests were originally reported, the robo-cars had covered more than 140,000 miles with only one minor accident along the way.

Now Google wants Nevada to juggle its motoring laws and allow these new road tests. Google claims the self-driving machines will be more environmentally friendly and more certain to adhere to road laws. And that could indeed be the case--until the high-tech war wagons expose their restraining neck harnesses and hidden laser cannons.

Of course, the author is joking at the end. We hope.

Read the full story at CNET.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/05/google-pushes-self-driving-cars-forward-in-nevada/239004/