A car that will drive for you?!

It goes without saying that there have been amazing technological advances in these last 50 years since our company’s inception in 1963. We know that phone technology, television technology, book keeping technology and numerous other types have technology have grown, changed and in some cases been created.

It stands to reason that cars have changed in numerous ways as well- everything from the types of materials used, to multiple options for the same model to complex safety systems… Previously I had written a blog about the debate about automation in our lives and how that could impact the car industry. As some of you might recall Google (a world leader in software technology) is leading the way in hardware design as well.

For the past few years, Google has been testing their automated vehicle in Nevada. This vehicle has logged over 300,000 miles so far. I am sure that you will have plenty of questions about this technology… I’ve included some links to help answer most of your questions.

Automated? How does that work? … let this article shed a little light on it : http://news.discovery.com/autos/how-google-self-driving-car-works-111018.html

What is like inside an automated Google car?  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMdcWHnbhsw

How has this already changed things for the automotive industry?http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/09/25/google_automatic_cars_legal/

What’s Next; The debate on Man vs. Machine.

Just because the technology is there, doesn’t mean that it is what the majority chooses, despite how much to could benefit us. The technology to commnicate through a device that displays the video and audio has been available for several years, but it wasn’t until Apple utilized it with “facetime” that it has become commonplace. One could argue that it is a rarely used feature for most iphone users, as many people enjoy the privacy that is affored to them with a traditional phonecall.

The same train of thought might apply to automated vehicles. It might be nice to have your car drive you around without the stress of driving, allowing you to do other things along the way to your destination. Also, it appears that the google car, has a safer driving record than the average driver. Will there come a time when we will have to pay  higher insurance premium to drive ourselves? Or when self driving will be known as reckless driving? lnteresting thoughts… 

Another factor to consider is that as vehicles have become more complex, the cost of parts has skyrocketed. Thusly making repairs more costly, and the window of repair vs. a vehicle being totalled out after an accident much smaller. Although this might be a good thing for vehicle manufacturers, it seems that it would make it harder for those of us who see their vehicles as a tool that we intend to keep for a long time.

http://www.forbes.com/2008/05/05/cars-expensive-repairs-forbeslife-cx_jm_0505cars.html

This article talks about some of those questions; and helps us to ask, “what next?”

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/01/ff_autonomouscars/

What are your thoughts?

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