Forget Everything You Know About the Google Car
All the hype, all the possibilities you’ve read about the self-driving Google Car is pretty much science fiction at this point. It is years away from becoming a reality. Lee Gomes, author of an article in MIT Technology Review drips with intellectual sarcasm when he says, "Would you buy a self-driving car that couldn’t drive itself in 99 percent of the country? Or that knew nearly nothing about parking, couldn’t be taken out in snow or heavy rain, and would drive straight over a gaping pothole? If your answer is yes, then check out the Google Self-Driving Car, model year 2014."
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As the Best Ride Midnight Oil blog points out, MIT’s Dr. Bryan Reimer noted at a conference in May that “[t]he law of probability says it’s 100 percent certain that someone is going to walk in front of one of these autonomous test cars, or one of these cars is going to kill someone.” Yet another reason to buy one - not.
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The Google Car has a lot of hurdles to overcome – first being it probably can't tell the difference between a literal hurdle and a pedestrian. It's going to drive you over a pothole and drop your front end into an open manhole cover.
Forget about parking. MIT says it can't handle open parking lots or multi-level parking garages: the latter popular in urban environments, where the Google Car is supposed to shine.
Speaking of shine, the Google Car has also only been tested in sunshine and light rain. It's not been taken out in snow and heavy rain because it's not safe for testing.
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Not being able to drive in the rain? That seems like the biggest hurdle of all Google needs to overcome or you can forget the Seattle market. It's a really challenging dilemma, and it likely means we won't see the Google self-driving car on the road for a long time.