Sometimes I think about the generation of my grandparents. Their generation never had the glimpse of today's ubiquitous Internet technologies, never heard of the cell phones, IPad, Kindle, and other technologies. Cars were there, but not as abundant as the modern world, and not as powerful and luxury ridden. The new generation that I belong to, and the next generation that is coming after, are part of this technological revolutions, that seems to be progressing in breakneck speed, ripping apart all the traditional leaps and bound.
If and when Google and others' initiatives on building autonomous cars that will someday drive itself without any single human intervention, it will be one of the game changer of our world, "they can transform society as profoundly as the Internet has". Why is it so? Here is an extract from an article published in The New York Times, "Robot drivers react faster than humans, have 360-degree perception and do not get distracted, sleepy or intoxicated, the engineers argue. They speak in terms of lives saved and injuries avoided — more than 37,000 people died in car accidents in the United States in 2008. The engineers say the technology could double the capacity of roads by allowing cars to drive more safely while closer together. Because the robot cars would eventually be less likely to crash, they could be built lighter, reducing fuel consumption".
Reducing the fuel consumption is the key word. And if these autonomous car can derive the energy from the almost infinite solar source, it will indeed have lasting impact on global warming. Whether the boasting human beings have enough time to reverse the onslaught of environmental catastrophe that is surely on the path to be unfolded with unimaginable disastrous consequences of global proportions, will depend on the collaborative global policy and its implementation. Perhaps, the world needs more "Google" and "Google" type initiatives to continue and progress the human civilization as we know of.
Link to article: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/10/science/10google.html