Here in the States the self driving Google cars driving around San Francisco made most news outlets, including right here at AllSmallCars.com (more here). Heck, I even heard about the self-driving cars on the morning radio show I frequent. While we contemplate the legalities of a car driving its self on U.S. roads, the Berlin Free University have come up with an innovative solution using similar technology that will allow for people to call an autonomous car using a smartphone or iPad like device. The “Dial-A-Car” system will let you call, tack and direct the car from where ever you are in the city. Of course, for the moment you would have to be in Berlin, Germany.
Sound to good to be true? Well, if you are a YouTube believer, then check out the Video below. Basically, the apparatus on the top of the car looks very similar to that of the Google self-driven cars and the end goal is very similar as well. The car, dubbed MadeInGermany (MIG), has been developed to help reduce traffic congestion in urban environments. According to Inhabitat.com, a spokesperson from the University said:
“Cars that use sensors to recognize other vehicles, pedestrians and bikes will in the future drive more safely than people, who lose concentration and get tired. Most cars spend 90 to 95 percent of the time parked on the side of the road … Our aim is to give back most of the roads back to pedestrians. In the future, people will wonder why at the beginning of the 21st century we still drove our own cars.”
A lofty goal? Perhaps, but there are definitely people I see on the road everyday that I wonder how they got their drivers license. That said, I am still on the fence about the idea of automated transportation. Call it my American ways, but I do want to know where the liability falls if the artificial intelligence in the car fails. However, for those that don’t find driving enjoyable or don’t want to be hassled, this could be an interesting form of public transportation. I could get used to the claimed 80% reduction in traffic. Leave us your thoughts and opinions via the comments section below and be sure to check out the YouTube video. Further reading from the Berlin Free University can be found here.