Guys, I cannot wait for the self-driving car. Can not. The dream of thousands of cars automatically pushing themselves around our wonderful cities, just like they did in those classic World’s Fair Expos, gets me incredibly excited. So what are Audi and Lexus bringing to the table? Not much. Especially when you see how far ahead Google was years ago with cars that were completely autonomous.
In both cases, what we’re looking at is some incremental stuff, some additional sensors. Cars today feature collision avoidance and early-braking systems that are already computerized and companies like Audi and Lexus are trying to expand on that incrementally. As demonstrated by The Verge, Audi is pursuing automatically-parking cars that currently cart around at five miles per hour along an incredibly scripted path while Top Men In Suits linger to ensure nothing goes tragically wrong. The bulk of the work, as they describe, is actually performed because of lasers posted throughout the parking garage that help guide the car over wi-fi. Potentially, you could simply whip out your phone to summon your car. An auto auto-valet. In order for this to work however, every single parking garage will need to equip themselves with a variety of new sensors to guide the vehicle, something that’s years away from reality.
Guys, this is lame.
Take the dream of the self-driving car, like it were a plump pie full of promise, then strip out the filling and leave the crust out a week. In the sun. There’s nothing exciting about this technology at all and it doesn’t advance humanity in the slightest. I’m not saying every new technology needs to change humanity, but when car manufacturers, and ultimately real estate owners – are spending millions of dollars and a decade of their lives developing technology that only helps you move around parking garages better, you wonder where their heart is.
I’ll watch Google pave the way.
Source: The Verge