Google’s driverless cars are headed to the streets, with one condition: they must have brakes, pedals, and a human driver at the helm.
It’s often the case that, when new technology is unveiled, there are bound to be reservations. No matter how innovative the technology may be, there are times when human society isn’t as ready to embrace it as many tech enthusiasts are.
One common response provided when ordinary consumers are told about Google’s self-driving cars that have no brakes, pedals, accelerometer, or driver’s seat is one of shock and disbelief. In a number of cases, consumers are likely to frown when they’re told that Google’s driverless cars will have no front-seat driver and are computer-generated vehicles that drive consumers wherever they want to go. “The end of Driver’s Ed is here,” some say.
Well, don’t count Driver’s Education obsolete just yet. According to California’s new autonomous vehicle laws, Google must make driverless cars with a driver’s seat, brakes, and pedals intact so that a human driver can resume control of the vehicle at any time. Should the vehicle do something out of the ordinary, or need human intervention, Google’s driverless cars must have a steering wheel so that human hands can guide the vehicle if something goes awry, and the computer-generated vehicles have a few “bugs” in the software that make the vehicles stop in the middle of the road, for instance.
California’s new driverless car regulations also require manufacturers to take responsibility if the vehicles go awry and lead to accidents on the road, although Google has said that it desires to claim responsibility for accidents and automotive loss in the future. Manufacturers must also apply to test their vehicles on the road, paying $150 per application and $50 for each set of additional drivers and vehicles. The $150 fee pertains to no more than 10 vehicles and 20 drivers on the road at a time. They will receive word back regarding their application after 10 days.
Driverless car operators (human) must pass an autonomous vehicle driver course in addition to a manual vehicle driver course before being allowed to operate a driverless vehicle in the state of California.
Meanwhile, other car manufactures like Audi, Ferrari and Hyundai are also spending millions in making their products smarter. Recently, Hyundai launched an Empty Car Convoy commercial showing the new Hyundai Genesis with driverless driving capabilities and emergency braking system.