Driverless cars. Wait a second, WHAT?! Driver-less? How exactly is that possible? They sound so futuristic, like a feat of engineering- and so far away: a car that will take you anywhere you please without you, uh, driving. You just go ahead and tell it it’s destination, hop in, and away you go. It’ll stop at red lights and stop signs, move into the right lanes, slow down if it’s yellow, speed up if it’s green. It’ll play the radio and blast your music if you tell it to. And the whole time, well, you won’t have to do much, if anything at all. You can work, relax, sleep or play. No need to buy 3 cups of coffee to pull an all-nighter on a road trip to New York. You can just sleep off and let the car do the driving. But let’s be serious! They don’t have those yet, do they? Yes-yes they do. That’s right! Google recently introduced a technology project called The Google Self-Driving Car. They have been working on some really cool science and technology for autonomous or self-driving cars. And guess what? It worked! That’s right! Google officially created the car fairly recently, a few years ago.
So how does the really cool tech work? Basically, a laser in the car allows it to generate a detailed, 3D map of its environment. The car takes these generated maps and combines them with high resolution maps of the world and wah-lah! It knows where to go, how to get there, and what to watch out for. Ever since Google has released them, a few states in the US and a few countries having been catching on. In Nevada, Florida and California, driverless cars are free to roam the streets. They’re free to do that in Michigan too-but a human has to be in the driver seat at all times. But who cares? They’re driverless cars! And they’re awesome! Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain is allowing testing of robotic cars in traffic, and Finland is planning on passing a law before 2015. And here’s something that’s even cooler: just a week or two ago, Google introduced a newer, even awesome-er car; without any steering wheel or pedals. No more need to slam on the brakes because, well, there aren’t any brakes. It’s amazing, right? Just think about it. These cars change everything.
That’s the amazing thing with technology, it allows limitless possibilities to come alive. But there’s a problem. Because, see, these cars change, well…everything. And when they change everything, that means our laws need to change too. I mean, think about it…if driverless cars is the next thing, then what about driver licenses? Are they even necessary? And if they are, shouldn’t the test change? And when will you be allowed to get one, now that you aren’t handling the driving, but a car is? And what if the car malfunctions? It freaks out and dies. After technology can be imperfect sometimes. That’s why we’re here: to perfect it. So far, Google has seen only two incidents, both in California, both Google has maintained that the incidents were both a result of some error of the human sitting in the car, not the car itself. But still, the fact is, until both Google and the United States Government has conducted enough research on this car, it ain’t gonna be across the country-or the world, for that matter, any time soon. By anytime soon, I mean the next few months-or even this year. Google hasn’t even started to commercialize the product or hand it over to automobile manufacturers. However, the way technology is taking off, if you’re born around now, odds are, by the time you’re 16, you’ll be leaping into an autonomous car. Just imagine that!
So what’s the HoneZone take? It’s all made possible by technology. The Google Engineers have their brains, but mostly technological advancements in the last decade and our ability to harness and effectively use and apply the new kind of science and technology for the coolest things-like this driverless car! You can create extremely cool things too- and start your journey to be a future engineer at Google at awesome places like HoneZone Technology Academy! At HoneZone, they offer the widest range of tech. classes, so you can learn to create your own games! How neat is that? Not only is it tons of fun, it’s a first step to a great future in technology!