Google lobbyists converged on Washington D.C. recently to convince law makers that self-driving cars were the future and a benefit for the country and to quickly approve national legislation which would allow them to travel around the country.
Already Nevada has approved self-driving cars for state roads. They registered the first self-driving car late last month, and California lawmakers are currently discussing the issue which seems likely to pass there as well.
Driving safety advocates have said repeatedly that they view self-driving cars as a public safety issue; the cars will increase the overall safety of national roadways because they remove the imperfection of humans from the equation. Specifically, self-driving cars will not suffer distractions such as cell phones, radios or text messages; they will not drink too much before hitting the road or use mind altering substances.
In essence, self-driving cars represent a major shift in the way people get around the country and increase their level of safety while doing it. The technology has been in development for more than a decade. It has been tested and retested and proven to work effectively and safely.
Self-driving cars use an assortment of technology to get around the roads including on-board navigation systems, GPS, motion sensors, proximity alerts and complete vehicle controls.
Google’s self-driving cars have clocked already clocked more than 150,000 miles, autonomously cruising along, through cities and communities without incident.
The technology is there, but so far the issue is one of public reaction. Google needs public support if they expect these cars to gain wide acceptance. And lawmakers too will wait until their hear from their constituency before making any hard and fast decisions about what to do with these self-driving cars. But it seems likely, as people become more comfortable with technology in general, having a car which can drive itself will soon become second nature for everyone.