Internet search giant Google wanted to make a demonstration with a self-driven Toyota Prius and invited a blind man to go behind the wheel and drive through the town with the automatically controlled vehicle.
Steve Mahan is a blind person, who has lost 95% of the ability to see. Look, Ma! No hands. And no feet! Mahan joked in the video posted on Wednesday by Google.
Where this would change my life is to give me the independence and the flexibility to go the places I both want to go and need to go when I need to do those things, continued Mahan, CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center.
Back in 2012, Google started experiments with a Toyota Prius equipped with sensors and cameras that allow it to handle traffic without driver's intervention. On Wednesday, the search giant posted this video demonstration with the occasion of reaching 200,000 miles of testing with computer-controlled vehicles.
Google admitted that the route used to demonstrate the qualities of the self-driving car was carefully selected and the program was set in a way to avoid any possible incident. There were also other cars on the road, not many though.
We organized this test as a technical experiment outside of our core research efforts, but we think it's also a promising look at what this kind of technology may one day deliver for society if rigorous technical and safety standards can be met, a Google representative told Fox News.
Although the car seems to be driven without too much external intervention, behind its technology is a connection to Google Street View, a lot of sensors and radars that observe other traffic objects and lasers to calculate the distance.
Google makes these tests more for its image. The company has not made it clear whether it will be involved in any way in the commercialization of autonomous vehicles or in the sale of equipment for them, especially because these vehicles are only in early stages, were not tested enough, and cost a fortune.
Check out the awesome video below.
(reported by Laurentiu Stan, edited by Surojit Chatterjee)