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Thursday, May 29, 2014

California thinking may backfire for Google's new self-driving car

As someone who loves driving, I found it a little difficult to stomach when Chris Urmson, director of Google's Self-Driving Car Project, told us earlier this month that "People hate driving." Not "People hate driving in traffic," or "People hate driving when they need to get some work done," but simply "People hate driving."
Google's attitude certainly isn't an uncommon one, but neither is it an opinion that jibes with the feelings of the driving population as a whole. Still, so long as the company's team was working on optional systems that would augment existing cars, not exclusively turn them into driverless automatons, I wasn't particularly put off. After all, I hate driving in traffic too -- especially since my car has a manual transmission and my left knee has seen better days.
However, with last night's unveiling of the Self-Driving Car Project's new ride, a little machine with a sad clown face up front and room for two inside, I couldn't shake the feeling that the team's attitude toward driving might actually be something of a detriment.
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