A phenomenon in car technology is winding its way through California roads. Seven Google self-driven test cars have conquered over 140,000 miles in all, according to this news report. The Google test cars, including six Toyota Priuses and one Audi TT, boast many technological advances, including rotating senors which detect a 230-foot radius around the car. The sensors build maps based on collected data, which are continually inputted into a GPS. The various sensors placed at strategic points around the cars detect traffic lights, speed limits and obstacles. The auto-pilot feature of the car, which can be switched off by pressing a red button, turning the wheel or hitting the brakes, is not completely without human supervision. Drivers are behind the wheels of all test vehicles to prevent car accidents, and technicians keep a watchful eye on software in their passenger seat. So far, the only collision has occurred when one of the cars was rear-ended at a red light.
Although self-driving cars are endorsed by the government, there are few hang-ups still to be addressed. They do not recognize hand signals from cops or crossing guards, and current law states that a driver must be in control of a vehicle at all times, causing an issue with liability. Google hopes to lower the number of deaths and injuries resulting from car accidents with their automated vehicle. Changes will likely be made to laws, and , I am eager to hear how this automated car technology will impact laws along with the number of accidents and improved driver safety.