The biggest problem on the road? All those pesky people. It seems that Google has isolated the same problem with their car as they have with their algorithm and are working to deal with it in much the same way … take all those unpredictable humans out of the equation.
To do this Google announced yesterday that they are building their own vehicles (about 100 to be specific) and here’s the kinda-creepy part, the only human-interaction component is a red emergency button to stop it. No steering wheel, no brake or gas pedal. Nothing. The argument is that human interaction is more likely to cause an accident than an automated system. Are they right? Well, there’s obviously no large-scale evidence to support or refute the claim but with the large number of robotic acquisitions Google has been making of late, they’re certainly well positioned to give the effort a solid run.
One of the interesting features of this technological move is that the car can be requested from any Android phone and with the destination also programed from the phone meaning getting your car with arms full of shopping just got a whole lot easier as it would exit the parkade and meet you in front of the store with the click of a button or (presumably) a voice control.
There isn’t a whole lot of detail out on the car yet but here’s the fuzzy-little video put out to promote it.
I’ve got to say, with the number of less-than-qualified drivers I encounter on the road I hope sincerely that it works and can imagine the mobility it will lend to people who otherwise cannot drive themselves. While I find it a bit odd, I’m sure there was a time when fire did too.
And Facebook Eavesdropping
And speaking of things you can do fro your phone, Facebook will be adding a function that allows them to listen in while you’re updating your status. They will be listening to the background noise to enable you to share what you’re watching and/or listening to. Now you might be thinking, “If I wanted to share what I’m watching I’d simply include that in my status update.” Interesting thought but apparently Facebook is pretty sure you might not know you want to share this enormously invaluable piece of pop culture with all the folks you know. I mean, if I can’t know which of my friends is watching Honey Booboo or listening to the latest by Justin Beiber how am I to know who I should unfriend?
Think of it as a culture-based filtering. Perhaps they could add a feature to automatically unfriend people who have horrible taste, put them all in a driverless car and send them all to a cave so they don’t have cell phone access.
Google & Facebook: Together to make the world a better place.