A Blind Man Goes For A Spin

Gahars

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No, no, not quite like that.

Maybe a little context will help. Google has been experimenting with cars that drive themselves for some time now, using a combination of cameras, radar sensors, and constantly updated maps. They hope that through this research, they can, "...prevent traffic accidents, free up people's time and reduce carbon emissions by fundamentally changing car use."

Well, Google took another step forward recently by putting a blind man behind the wheel of one of these cars.

Because it's the kind that demonstrates the positive impact it could have on a single person's life. Steve Mahan, who is legally blind and has not had a solo car trip since losing 95% of his sight, is the first visually-challenged person to take Google's incredible specially-adapted Toyota Prius (could it really be anything else?) to the public roads in a carefully-programmed round trip from Taco Bell to the dry cleaning store. The test (or “technical experiment” as Google itself puts it) is not only apt in demonstrating the technology behind the car in action – a laser-range finder maps out surroundings and responds to GPS – but, like an excited child on Christmas morning, shows in terrific fashion what such vehicles could actually mean for all those who can't just pop into their car for a nip to the shops.
Source: New Rising Media

It also comes with a little video detailing the experiment/demonstration:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdgQpa1pUUE

News like this is always great for two reasons. First of all, it gives us a glimpse into some rapidly developing technology that may very well change the way we live. Sure, it's still quite a ways off, but we're getting closer and closer all the time. Secondly, it lends even more weight to my proposal that we are, in fact, living in the future.

The biggest downside I can think of is that it will seriously undermine the novelty of Herbie the Love Bug, but I think that's a sacrifice we'll all just have to live with.
 

notmeanymore

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Google, always one step ahead.
I've been pondering an idea like this for over a year now. They have the money and the resources and the know-how to just friggen do it.
 

ChaosBoi

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It's about time this concept came into existence. I've been thinking about self-driving cars ever since I was in high school, but always wondered how it would work or if it was even feasible. And then six years later, Google comes along and presents us with this idea. This alone has pretty much bumped their awesome level up a notch :D .
 

Foxi4

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Self-driving vehicles will not decrease the amount of traffic accidents. To the contrary, the amount would be increased. There are numerous weather and road conditions a computer would have to understand and react to - a driver adjusts his or her technique to the conditions on the road, a computer can only aproximate. It won't be able to see, for example, a patch of ice or a hole in the road before it is too late to manouver through it. If anything, it will be a hindrence since for example mist will impede the operations of numerous sensors and unnecessarily slow down the vehicle.

The only practical way of implementing this would be fitting all roads with what could be called an "invisible rail", or actually a visible one if sufficient photo-sensor equipment is fitted and make the cars follow it at fixed speed set via satellite depending on the conditions of terrain, but this is an unrealistic idea as there would have to be nearly as many traffic controllers as there are drivers. Basically cars would have to be controlled in the same way air traffic is controlled, with the difference of having millions of cars to deal with rather then a handful of planes at a time.

All in all... maybe in the far future.
 

loco365

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This reminds me of the Mythbusters episode when they put a blind person behind the wheel and the passenger gave them instructions on the fly about what was going around them. Except this is done with computers and sensors and whatnot. Go Google.
 
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Gahars

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Self-driving vehicles will not decrease the amount of traffic accidents. To the contrary, the amount would be increased. There are numerous weather and road conditions a computer would have to understand and react to - a driver adjusts his or her technique to the conditions on the road, a computer can only aproximate. It won't be able to see, for example, a patch of ice or a hole in the road before it is too late to manouver through it. If anything, it will be a hindrence since for example mist will impede the operations of numerous sensors and unnecessarily slow down the vehicle.
The only practical way of implementing this would be fitting all roads with what could be called an "invisible rail", or actually a visible one if sufficient photo-sensor equipment is fitted and make the cars follow it at fixed speed set via satellite depending on the conditions of terrain, but this is an unrealistic idea as there would have to be nearly as many traffic controllers as there are drivers. Basically cars would have to be controlled in the same way air traffic is controlled, with the difference of having millions of cars to deal with rather then a handful of planes at a time.
All in all... maybe in the far future.

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Foxi, you're great, but come on! Can't a man dream of a future with self-driving automobiles without having to worry about how practical it would be to implement them?
 
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Foxi4

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Foxi, you're great, but come on! Can't a man dream of a future with self-driving automobiles without having to worry about how practical it would be to implement them?
I want self-driving cars. I just want them to FLY.

[yt]L-qLglKXme8[/yt]

How's THAT for a come-back, huh? :P

They have 7 years. 7. After that, I'm going on a rampage.
 
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Skelletonike

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Foxi, you're great, but come on! Can't a man dream of a future with self-driving automobiles without having to worry about how practical it would be to implement them?
I want self-driving cars. I just want them to FLY.

[yt]L-qLglKXme8[/yt]

How's THAT for a come-back, huh? :P

They have 7 years. 7. After that, I'm going on a rampage.

Meh... That's already too long, this one is just in 2015


They'd better keep on part with that, I want those cars, and those nike. >3
 

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