If you follow our blog you know that Google has already debuted their self-driving car and is testing them out on California’s roads. Now, if the idea of seeing a humanless car driving around in the lane next to you freaks you out, then don’t worry…
Instead of real world testing, Google actually wants to test their cars out in a “Matrix-style” virtual simulation of California’s road system.
Google claims that their computer simulation will be far more valuable than real world testing, providing decades of information in just a fraction of the time.
But a self-driving car with no real world testing is still frightening, right?
I mean, Google may be able to make the most sophisticated of virtual realities, but nothing is going to let that computer fully appreciate what driving alongside “brain-operated” humans is like. I’d like to see the A.I. they come up with for Florida tourists.
Unfortunately for Google, though, their biggest road blocks don’t have anything to do with the efficiency of their Matrix-style world.
Their biggest problem is California State regulators.
New regulations from California’s Department of Motor Vehicles are requiring that autonomous cars, like Googles’, have a steering wheel and pedal system so that drivers can take control of the car if needed.
The NHTSA is also urging other State legislatures follow suit.
These regulations, of course, would significantly change Google’s original concept.
Other innovative American car makers have also been stuck in similar regulatory gridlocks.
Earlier this year, Tesla wanted to ditch side mirrors on their upcoming Model X SUV in favor of cameras, which would increase aerodynamics, fuel efficiency, and driving range.
But US regulations once again got in the way.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk was not happy, either, saying, “You can actually get these things changed, but it takes ages.”
Also, having trouble was the start-up transportation company UBER.
Lately, they have been fighting off taxi regulations that are in place under the guise of safety. Fortunately, some legislators are sticking up for UBER.
These regulations might not be affecting us gear heads who actually want to drive our cars, but when regulations are stopping new competitors and technologies, it stifles the ENTIRE AUTOMOTIVE industry.