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When Google Drives The Car For You

Coming sooner than we think? The Star-Telegram reports.

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February 19, 2013 - 1:00 pm
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via Self-driving Google car a big hit at Texas Transportation Forum | Breaking News | News f….

AUSTIN — Some of the best transportation thinkers in Texas and across the United States are being upstaged this week by a car that drives itself.

About 1,400 people are attending the eighth annual Texas Transportation Forum through Tuesday in Austin. But while those experts meet in Hilton conference rooms and grapple with tough issues such as how to handle an increase in freight-hauling trucks on the roads, or how to pay for highways under a tightened state budget, it’s the Google “self-driving car” parked outside the downtown Austin hotel’s entrance that’s getting the most hubbub.

“It would probably do a better job driving than we do,” quipped Linda Thomas of Longview, who on Monday afternoon took turns shooting snapshots of the Google car with her husband, Charles.

The car is among a fleet of about 10 vehicles developed during the past eight years by researchers at Google and Stanford University. Google representatives said that on Tuesday they plan to take the car, a Lexus hybrid, for a spin on Austin-area roads, including infamously congested Interstate 35.

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All Comments   (4)
All Comments   (4)
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i look forward to it. i look at it as mobility for the handicapped. an upgrade of hands only control for paraplegics. not every place has decent public transportation. i would not support it as mandatory for all, but a nice option package on the car. i'd buy it for my older years.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not looking forwards to this. The potential for disruption and destruction of jobs is immense. The bus industry for one follows set routes at low speeds, making it very attractive to go driverless, and trucks as well as cabs could follow suit. If it ever gets to the point where public transportation becomes more convenient than private due to this, even more could be lost.

It's amazing how efficient the free market can be, but feeling like a blacksmith watching horses become obsolete isn't a comfortable feeling.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I think taxi/shuttle drivers probably have the most to lose here. Driverless cars may be cool, but probably not going the end consumer route yet. I would think that places that have shuttle services (e.g. hotels, airport parking, etc.) may find it an attractive alternative. It might even take over the suburban and rural taxi services since it may be cheaper to have robots rather than pay drivers.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I worry though that they might make public transit a serious option instead of owning a car, though. Imagine being able to summon a car via your mobile wherever you are, popping in a route, and going. Considering that people pay over $400 a month often just in owning a car, there's a lot of room to make a subscription service cheaper than that for many drivers.

it's going to be an interesting future to say the least.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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