Google has been working on autonomous driving technology for a while now. The technology definitely has a lot of potential to change the face of driving in the future. According to Computerworld, Google doesn’t plan on becoming an automaker itself, instead it wants to partner with an automaker to get the technology into cars, and on to the roads. This makes a bit of sense. Google has no experience in building and selling cars. They are a software and search company (and a highly successful one at that.) They have no experience in the automotive industry. In the event they did attempt to build and sell their own cars, they would probably face stiff competition from established competitors. It would be far easier to partner with an established automaker to get this technology out there into the market, and to give it a better chance of succeeding.
GM (General Motors) recently told Computerworld that they are open to the idea of partnering with another company, such as Google when it comes to autonomous cars if they have “interesting technology” to bring to the table. GM claims to be about 10-15 years away from being able to sell a fully autonomous vehicle which will be able to drive on all roads, and in all conditions. This statement by a GM spokesman really gives a lot of hope for the concept. The fact that GM, a major player in the auto industry, is open to the idea of partnering with Google means that this technology could one day have a very good chance of becoming commonplace. Together, the technologies that the two companies have been working on could very well come together in a very solid product one day.
When the technology does eventually hit the roads, all companies involved in developing this technology are going to have to stringently test they’re various systems to ensure that they are safe. The self driving car, in a perfect world could reduce collisions on the road, but on the other hand could very well cause collisions if the technology isn’t solid on the first day. Its common for technology to have bugs during the early days. Its something accepted when it comes to new software, and new tech. There are always going to be problems with new tech early on, but when it comes to this type of technology, that cannot happen. Bugs have to be worked out long before autonomous cars hit the road, otherwise the technology could have disastrous results that can’t be resolved with a software update.
A fully autonomous car may be a few years off, but a partially autonomous one isn’t. GM plans on releasing the Cadillac CT6 in 2017, which will feature “Super-Cruise.” The technology will allow you to take your hands off the wheel, and your foot off the gas pedal. The car essentially drives itself, staying in it’s lane. The technology is only meant for highway travel. This brings us one step closer to a fully autonomous car, and once again, science fiction of yesteryear is becoming reality.