Blind man tested Google’s autonomous car on the public roads in California.
“We announced our self-driving car project in 2010 to make driving safer, more enjoyable, and more efficient, ” said Google in a statement. “Having safely completed over 200,000 miles of computer-led driving, we wanted to share one of our favorite moments.”
Steve Mahan, who is legally blind, accepted to take a special drive on a carefully programmed route to experience being behind the wheel in a whole new way. The test was a technical experiment, which could become reality if rigorous technology and safety standards can be met.
“Where this would change my life is that it would give me the independence and the flexibility to go to the places I both want to go and need to go, when I need to do those things,” Mahan said.
Google’s automated cars are equipped with video cameras, a laser ranger finder, radar sensors, and also detailed maps, all connected to Google’s data centers, which process the enormous amounts of information gathered by the cars when mapping the terrain. California has no laws governing how a self-driving vehicle can be operated. Nevada recently became the first state in the nation to pass a law governing autonomous vehicles.