Wired's Tom Vanderbilt takes a good look at all the various self-driving vehicles out there and concludes that not only the technology is here and good to go, but that autonomous cars drive better than any human driver on the road.
I was briefly nervous when Urmson first took his hands off the wheel and a synthy woman's voice announced coolly, "Autodrive." But after a few minutes, the idea of a computer-driven car seemed much less terrifying than the panorama of indecision, BlackBerry-fumbling, rule-flouting, and other vagaries of the humans around us -- including the weaving driver who struggles to film us as he passes.
The Prius begins to seem like the Platonic ideal of a driver, against which all others fall short. It can think faster than any mortal driver. It can attend to more information, react more quickly to emergencies, and keep track of more complicated routes. It never panics. It never gets angry. It never even blinks. In short, it is better than human in just about every way.
Imagine having a robotic chaffeur on wheels? You can ship it to pick up the kids from practice while you can sit at home and keep your drinking habit.
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