Google may redefine diversification by entering the auto manufacturing industry in the future. If you are of the belief that automatic self-parking cars and driving assist are changing driving experience, then Google’s self-driving car is as close to virtual reality one can get in an actual road car.
Google who had previously formed alliance with Mitsubishi and Toyota has now plans to develop their own autonomous automobile which may spawn a fleet of "robo-taxis" in the future. This news comes just days after a report of a deal between Google, IBM, and Continental AG which involves the development of a platform that enables the parties to share technology.
Automated driving is not a completely new concept, with manufacturers like Audi and Volvo developing self-parking cars which exhibit autonomous-driving for a short span. But in India, a technology that does not detect bicycles or unexpected pedestrians can be more lethal than assistive. For this very reason, the news though innovative is not all good at least in an Indian perspective where we rarely adhere to road rules and traffic regulations.
While a completely autonomous driving system can vastly improve security, the concept holds good only in a planned and organised driving environment, today’s artificial intelligence has not evolved enough to replace 15 years of a man’s driving experience. While a driver might predict a running child of spotting a rolling ball, AI may not. The legal issues revolving road accidents and safety will also go for a toss if the system is implemented our existing judicial architecture.
But these concerns will only act as constructive criticism for one of the most revolutionary innovation in the automotive industry. In an age where automotive safety and convenience are given utmost priority by auto manufacturers, the concept of driverless cars can be seen as a viable solution in the future. But for now the thought of cars driving themselves around only feels chaotic and fearful, but then again, prior to the Wright brothers’ era, flying did not feature even in our wildest dreams. And so, the distant reality of a console-like life style does not seem that distant now; does it?