Growing up, “The Jetsons” was one of my favorite Saturday morning cartoons. I was so fascinated by the futuristic vision the show portrayed, that I seriously believed one day, this just might be our reality. Living in the year 2062, the show displayed elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions. In 2012, we are not too far from the future that was predicted by the cartoon.
Although the flying automobile is still in the works, the state of Nevada recently approved and set regulations that would allow self-driving cars on state’s roadways;
Google, was the first to be approved for testing the new self-driving cars.
“It is the first license issued in the United States under new laws and regulations that put Nevada at the forefront of autonomous vehicle development,” the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles said in a statement.
Although Google was the first to file for an application for a license in Nevada, many other big name car manufacturers are working on similar vehicles.
According to ABC News, Google reiterates that the technology is not supposed to replace drivers, but rather help them. Instead of attempting to text while driving or change the GPS location, drivers can let the car do the work while they are distracted. Nevada requires that two drivers be in the test cars now, a human back-up driver and a passenger. In the limited test program, however, Google is asking to exempt those back-up drivers from anti-texting-and-driving laws.
Despite this being a self-driving car, humans can easily take control of the driving by pressing the brakes or grabbing the steering wheel.
While this is a big step in the future of the self-driving vehicle, this is just a glimpse of what’s to come for future generations of technology.