Web Culture

The Shocking Effects Of The Google Driverless Car [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mark O'Neill 01-03-2012

The future is closer than you might think. Thanks to Google’s top secret research department, Google X, driverless cars are now a reality and could be hitting the mainstream in the not too distant future. Nevada has become the first US state to pass a law allowing driverless cars on the roads in their state, and Google is even considering getting into the automobile industry by manufacturing the cars themselves.


But as our infographic today shows (courtesy of AptusInsurance.com), there are drawbacks as well as advantages to projects such as these. All of those who depend on driving for a living will see their jobs threatened, and states such as California could lose revenue if drivers opted for a cheaper ID card instead of a licence renewal.  But think of the benefits!  While the car drives, you could sleep, read, play your Nintendo DS console, eat your lunch or even make out on the back seat!  Plus the number of drunk driving accident deaths would plummet to virtually none.

Here is a short video by the creator of the driverless car, Sebastian Thrun, on why he started the project (definitely not for making out on the back seat!), and also a brief look at the car itself.

Would you buy a driverless car if it was affordable? Or does a car like this take away one of life’s simple pleasures which is driving the car yourself?  Can you think of any other advantages or disadvantages to Google’s driverless car? Let’s hear them in the comments below.

Related topics: Automotive Technology, Google, Google Labs, Infographic.

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  1. Mark Acker
    July 22, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    New Yorkers are starting to realize some grave scenarios with google cars driving around in the Big Apple. Heres the article :

    [Broken URL Removed]

  2. Luke
    April 8, 2012 at 12:16 am

    This will be a very significant benefit to people and economies. Consider the thousands of human lives saved ( no drunk divers, no sleepy drivers, no distracted drivers, no aggressive drivers etc). And think of the huge number of new jobs to be CREATED- a whole new industry servicing this technology, and an exponential growth in car sales to people who previously were excluded from automobiles.
    Remember, in the early days of cars there were people fretting and wringing their hands over the loss of jobs in the horse and carriage industry...but it soon became apparent that with cars a whole new and larger industry was being born.

  3. Oron Joffe
    March 5, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    If a driverless car hits a person, another car or anything else (and it will happen), who is liable?

    • Tina
      March 13, 2012 at 9:20 pm

      Good question. Hope we won't find out.

  4. Bill
    March 4, 2012 at 12:42 am

    okay the motto should be for the driveless car, "If you don't like they way I drive then stay off the sidewalks." Will you still be required to have insurance? Who is actually at fault if your car causes an accident? I guess there are pros and cons to this.

    • Mark O'Neill
      March 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

       yeah imagine all the lawsuits because the Google cars caused accidents!  But I'm sure the lawyers are all over this, working out the pros ans cons.

  5. Bogdan
    March 3, 2012 at 10:51 am

    I do not realy agree with the savings from parking costs. Instead a simple way home - shoping - back home the mileage might double with subsequent costs added by the consumed gass.
    As for part time taxi, I am not sure I would like someone else messing with my car.

  6. Rosenkranz
    March 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I disagree!

  7. Tony_lurie
    March 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    Nobody would buy them because nobody would be there to drive them!

  8. fridgman
    March 2, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    As a disabled person with upper body problems driving has increasingly become a pain so a driverless system would be amazing. The only downside anybody can really think of is the loss of jobs but many industries have evolved or closed over the years, due to technology, and people will always need to change with that process. 

  9. Amy & Lawrence
    March 2, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    My husband is recently visually impaired and has lost his licence, he is a stay-at home dad to our twin toddlers and this would be a god-send. Living in a very rural area, 1hr from the city, the loss of his driving license has been almost more devastating than the visual impairment. Where can we sign up as a test drive family for one of these vehicles?

    • Mark O'Neill
      March 5, 2012 at 10:20 am

      I don't think you can sign up yet. Google is still testing the cars out as there are still a lot of kinks to be ironed out, as I'm sure you can imagine. 

      But when it is finally ready for public consumption, I'm sure you will hear about it as the media will be all over this :-)

  10. Hanif Kruger
    March 2, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    I am visually impaired, (fully blind) and would most certainly benefit from a system like that.  Living in South Africa, it would also be rather nice to get all the unlicensed and uncivilized taxi drivers off our roads by replacing their non-existant skills with this new Google Driverless system.

    Perhaps I should move to the US to check it out.. SMiles.

  11. Danielle Escalante
    March 2, 2012 at 10:06 am

    It's either heartless and rich, or caring and broke.

  12. JerryP
    March 1, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    And as they will be networked, it will make for a new way to get carjacked.  Can't wait for the first car infected with a computer virus.  Or when the network goes down during the day and their rides are waiting patiently at home.  Probably safer overall, but as always, computers/automation is great, and lets you do a lot more a lot faster, you just have to hope that what you told it to do is what you actually wanted it to do.

    Personally, it would be nifty in a lot of ways, but I would never taxi out my car.  I have known too many people that I wouldn't trust alone in my car, unsupervised, muchless strangers.

  13. Paul N
    March 1, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Wow, I didn't realise. Love the infographic though. You can do so many cool and creative things with info graphics! Having info graphics in a video will give it style.

  14. TKOwens
    March 1, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    Can you imagine what it could do for insurance rates or would insurance companies even let that happen?

  15. Shiri DH
    March 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm

     My thoughts exactly. Way to increase car emissions and oil prices.

    • Charles Rachor
      March 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

      i mean, if your car is going to be gone from work, at least make money off it by renting it out to people during the day. carpooling, capitalism, and fewer emissions overall will win out ;)

  16. Theodore Fischer
    March 1, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Elderly drivers could be taken from behind the wheel and still have their independence. What a great thing for the blind and handycaped.

  17. el tio ska
    March 1, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    This would make initiatives like ZipCar vastly more appealing. Car picks you up, drops you off and goes on to pick someone else up. Mazda worked on developing an engine that can go on for 24 hours non-stop without getting damaged - that could come in handy! Also, taxi drivers who own a car can get into the market by putting their cars in a carpool or into a tangential market: it's time to get creative!

    In addition to less drunk drivers on the roads, the fact that the car drives itself means you can drink whenever you go out without having to worry about getting home. That would mean a significant increase of income for bars and pubs! The associations of bar-owners should start lobbying for driverless cars :)

    Mazda ad on TED: http://www.ted.com/initiatives/aws/defy_convention.html

  18. Sebredd
    March 1, 2012 at 7:25 am

    That statistic saying that the average car is immobile for 96% of its lifetime made me think that this could lead to an amazing public transport system.  Or perhaps a source of additional income for car owners if you like having your own unique car.  Imagine: you get up in the morning, ride your car to work, then put it into Taxi mode.  Now your car drives around until 5 p.m. and makes you some money!  After getting home you put it into Taxi mode again to make some bucks before returning tomorrow morning.

    • Kjetil Hvalstrand
      March 1, 2012 at 11:59 am

      If less cars are
      need they going to be more expensive and less people will have jobs
      in production, as taxi drivers, etc, anyway it will take away a
      pleasure of life, for people whit out a driving license or too old to
      drive this is great, hopefully this will reduce driving accidents.