Monday, 16 May 2011

Google Hiring Lobbyists to Legalize Autonomous Vehicles in Nevada

Google is promoting the legalization of self-driving cars as per the reports. The company is plotting to get this technology license to be used by customers in Nevada, the state of US where most of the illegal things become acceptable. This has been reported by New York Times that David Goldwater, avegas-based lobbyist has been appointed by Google to promote two things: one is the amendment of electric-vehicles bill leading to licensing and testing of autonomous vehicles and secondly, the permission for distracted driving laws which makes it ok to send text messages while driving.

Google is looking forward for the promotion of these two changes in legislations before Nevada legislature, due for finalization in next couple of months.

Google has also confirmed its lobbying action pertaining to Nevada legislation, however also states that the technology for autonomous-vehicles, which was trialed in California previously is still in the testing phase. The technology however has the human safety driver incorporated to be used in emergency situations.  Goldwater has put forth the argument that the autonomous vehicles are safer than human drivers, have increased fuel economy and augment economic development, before State assembly.

As per NYT, initially these vehicles can be used as taxis and delivery vehicles which lead to the freedom to travel while a person is drunk or sleeping or physically challenged or is not able to drive in any situation. This opens up a whole new world of opportunities like automated vehicle performing jobs etc.

Robocar chief of Google, Sebastian Thrun, a Stanford duy who has been hired after winning the DARPA robo-car contest promotes the savings on fuel and car sharing through network and many other uses which would cause less destruction and death in comparison to human drivers.

However this has few negative implications like it may give rise to unpleasant situation like too much usage of cars leading to increased congestion on road and pollution.

The question worth considering here is that Why Google is so interested in making this automated vehicle legalized? Gathering from the past trends, it is expected that Google would come up with an array of free services like routing and maps and will gather data of location from the vehicle, also may share the images from the car camera and many more.

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