I grew up watching Michael J. Fox travel through time a souped-up DeLorean, so the concept of ultra high tech gadgets has never really been too far fetched for me. But even the cars of the future in Back to the Future still had human drivers. We'd never really abandon human drivers, right?
Not so fast. Maybe not all of us have known (I sure didn't) that self-driving cars have already logged 140,000 miles in California. Who is responsible for this wizardry? Department of Defense? Boeing? Lockheed-Martin?
Nope. Google. Turns out Google was even issued an autonomous vehicle testing license by the state of Nevada. Google's self-driven car is a souped-up Prius, which has already been tested on freeways and the Vegas strip.
While a self-driven car in Sin City would certainly never be able to drive under the influence, I'm hoping the data collected from the tests is as transparent as open source code. The thought of eliminating distracted driving, impaired driving, road rage accidents, and the like is pretty exciting. It will be important, however, to balance any positives with the loss of human response.