Google's Self-Driving Car Takes Blind Man For A Spin

 

First announced just two years ago, Google's self-driving car project is one of those that not only makes perfect sense, it's a wonder more companies haven't been pushing for the 'Auto' button for quite some time. Aiming to make driving “safer, more enjoyable, and more efficient”, the self-driving car has now completed over 200,000 miles of 'computer-led driving'. But thousands upon thousands of miles isn't important to the search giant by itself, instead Google wanted to show us one of its most inspiring trips...

Because it's the kind that demonstrates the positive impact it could have on a single person's life. Steve Mahan, who is legally blind and has not had a solo car trip since losing 95% of his sight, is the first visually-challenged person to take Google's incredible specially-adapted Toyota Prius (could it really be anything else?) to the public roads in a carefully-programmed round trip from Taco Bell to the dry cleaning store. The test (or “technical experiment” as Google itself puts it) is not only apt in demonstrating the technology behind the car in action – a laser-range finder maps out surroundings and responds to GPS – but, like an excited child on Christmas morning, shows in terrific fashion what such vehicles could actually mean for all those who can't just pop into their car for a nip to the shops.

“There's much left to design and test,” Google said, “but we've now safely completed more than 200,000 miles of computer-led driving, gathering great experiences and an overwhelming number of enthusiastic supporters.” You can see the full video below.

I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.