By Andrea Lim
Google has recently come up with a prototype that, although it looks like it came straight out of a Disney Pixar movie, is an innovation that will seem to put us forward into the twenty-first century – the ‘Google Car’.
It is basically a self-driving compact version of a Mercedes-Benz smart car, big enough to fit two adults and a few pieces of luggage in the back.
The Google Car, or ‘Goog’, possibly owes its appeal to its friendly, ‘cute’ appearance – its face having ovoid eyes and baby-blue retinas, a shiny button nose and a straight-line mouth. However, the design strategy was “a concession to a fact about glaring fact about driverless cars: To a public raised on taking the wheel, the very concept of ceding control is terrifying.”
Although most people have nothing but positive words for this development in technology, we can only speculate if and how this will be beneficial to a third-world country like the Philippines.
Take for instance, the fact that while the Google Car is driverless but may still follow rules of the road down to the letter, there are still other factors to consider. Among those are the safety of the driverless car’s passengers and of course, the other drivers.
Google released a trial product where the car has nothing save for the seatbelts, a start button, and an emergency stop button. Cliff Kuang of wired.com says that a driverless car has to be “filled with cues in the knobs and interfaces that teach the user even while it’s enticing and acclimating the audience of potential users.”
If we are to have this sort of modernization running along our streets, it should be worth noting that Filipinos are known for their short attention spans, sad to say. If a billboard of a half-naked woman along EDSA could divert drivers’ attention from the road, what more a driverless vehicle running at 60 miles per hour?