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Self-driving cars… surely just one step away from self-riding motorbikes. The answer to the question “Do we want self driving vehicles?” has got to be a no! But has it?

Google have their fingers in everything, and now it’s their self-driving car project that’s caught my attention. Google says: “Ever since we started the Google self-driving car project, we’ve been working toward the goal of vehicles that can shoulder the entire burden of driving. Just imagine: You can take a trip downtown at lunchtime without a 20-minute buffer to find parking. Seniors can keep their freedom even if they can’t keep their car keys. And drunk and distracted driving? History.”

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Hold on then… no boozed-up, phone-chatting idiots pulling out on us anymore?

Google continues: “It was inspiring to start with a blank sheet of paper and ask, “What should be different about this kind of vehicle?” We started with the most important thing: safety. They have sensors that remove blind spots, and they can detect objects out to a distance of more than two football fields in all directions, which is especially helpful on busy streets with lots of intersections. And we’ve capped the speed of these first vehicles at 25 mph. On the inside, we’ve designed for learning, not luxury, so we’re light on creature comforts, but we’ll have two seats (with seatbelts), a space for passengers’ belongings, buttons to start and stop, and a screen that shows the route—and that’s about it.”

Now I’m interested… Car drivers get frustrated with bikers’ freedom, and we’ll have even more of it if they’re chugging around in these boxes, Google software supplementing their own [lack of] driving ability.

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But isn’t the next step self-riding bikes? I doubt it, and it’d be a very long way away, so I say bring on the Google Go!

Tony Carter

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