Sunday, July 28, 2013

Self-Driving Cars and Trucks and Things That Go

Flat Mr. Hunter and I spotted one of Google's self-driving cars the other day.  Every other time I've seen one, I haven't had a chance to see if there was someone in the driver's seat.  (I think I was hoping there wouldn't be!)  

But this time I saw the self-driving car close-up, and there was indeed a driver at the helm.  He was getting ready to parallel park, and I felt a little disappointed somehow when I saw this driver turning the steering wheel.  Oh well!  Flat Mr. Hunter and I were still glad to have a closer look at the, um, newfangled contraption.  

And Mr. Hunter was especially intrigued to hear about this sighting, considering that it's the kind of car that he could theoretically drive around in on his own.  

Each time I've seen these self-driving cars, I've noticed a spinning, bucket-shaped thing on top.  With the car parked, I got to study what this gray object (part of the car's laser radar system) looks like when it's still.  

A closer look at the laser range finder system. 

A peek inside the car.  What does the red button do?

The friendly yellow car in the logo reminds me the Richard Scarry character, Goldbug.
Which is appropriate, since Goldbug plays a pivotal role in Scarry's classic book
Cars and Trucks and Things That Go.

Certainly the driverless car is the sort of vehicle that Mr. Hunter could actually, you know, drive.  He says, "Sign me up!" 

Mountain View, California
July 2013

Wikipedia page on the Google driverless car -

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