Monday, October 18, 2010

Google's robot cars and what it may mean for classic cars

So, apparently Google has cars driving around guided purely by computers. Robot Cars. The idea has been around since the 60ies, but few years ago the electronics/hardware still took most of the passenger and boot space. This is getting better by the day. Google's cars are Toyota Prius and obviously there's still at least enough space to seat a control person and a passenger, maybe more. Now people say that this may open a new development similar to the impact of the internet. With robot driven cars you can reduce accidents, put more cars on the road on less space and make cars lighter and more economical as they will prevent accidents rather to have a lot of passive safety built inside. That would be good news as such. But obviously this only makes sense if all the cars follow the same logic and if we have less software errors built into these cars than into the odd MS Excel or Word. And I am a bit afraid, this is not good news of us who keep classic cars on the road and try to mesh into daily traffic. These robot cars will not know that a vintage automobile may easily take 100 meters to brake from 100 km/h to 0, or more.
But anyway, until we have these robot cars on public roads, a lot of legal and technical hurdles need to be removed, so let's get excited when it's here ...

1 comment:

areopagitica said...

300 meters to stop from 100kmh sounds like something could be improved. All cars with front discs should have been able to do much better than this when new and in good repair. I doubt there will be much danger a robocar would get underfoot by its own actions, but rather be better at computing the escape from a developing emergency than most inattentive humans. The biggest issue is developing a corpus of liability decisions for such mishaps as do occur.