Autonomous cars have been making the migration from science fiction to highway reality over the past few years thanks, in large part, to Google’s self-driving car project. Their research has contributed to the advancement of not only self-driving cars but also driving assistance technologies such as hands-free parking and blind spot detection. Although only introduced within the last year or so, these once high-end options are now becoming the new normal for new cars.
The public has largely embraced this technology. After all, we’ve been waiting for self-driving cars for more than 50 years. News stories about Google and their drive towards autonomous vehicles have become commonplace. The media has covered the evolution of the program from its inception to the first time it got pulled over by the police.
Needless to say, some reports on driverless technology borders on the bizarre. So when Google released the news about its new driverless bicycle project some readers didn’t bat an eye. Word had it that the company was testing its newest development in autonomous vehicles in Amsterdam, one of the most popular cities in the world for cyclists.
Alas, the devil was in the details – Google released the news on April 1st, making it another entry in a long history of public April Fools jokes. Still, in an age where autonomous vehicles are becoming increasingly popular and technological advancements mirror science-fiction story lines, many of us don’t think twice when we hear about autonomous vehicles.
After all, we’ve already seen self-driving cars, 18-wheelers, motorcycles and even grain harvesters. In a world where we even have motorized walking, how long before we have everything from strollers to Big Wheels equipped with self-driving technology just because we can?