Google recently debuted its self-driving car, and it’s an exciting glimpse into the future. But there are still technical problems… which Conan O’Brien gleefully restores in recutting Google’s introductory video.
Namely, there’s the problem that a car controlled by a computer has little mercy. Or can just malfunction:
For those who can’t see the clip, suffice to say that the Googlecar is poor at detecting children:
And hates cats:
The creepy thing is that this video is actually fairly close to the current state of technology: For example, Google admits that their car can’t detect (and would probably squish) squirrels. So cats would probably not fare well with automated cars on the road.
More troublingly, it also can’t yet understand traffic police and it’s unable to figure out what to do about cyclists who don’t use hand signals. The good news is that at least there’s a lot of work put into finding these bugs before they actually happen, so we can rest assured that if Google’s self-driving cars start killing people, it won’t be by accident.
Uh, maybe these things aren’t such a good idea after all.