Self-driving cars are the wave of the future, at least if you listen to Google and hate cats. But why wait for Google to make a self-driving car available on the market when you can destroy your expensive luxury vehicle instead?
That’s the pitch for Cruise, a company selling a $10,000 self-driving car kit that comes with a list of caveats as long as your arm. It will only work with a few specific models of Audi, it will only work on California highways in the Bay Area, and there are only 50 of them. You can preorder now, though, if you want to give a company you don’t know $10,000 to cut holes in your car!
If we sound mildly sarcastic, it’s because, well, the restrictions scream “Fancy toy for Bay Area douchebags.” Seriously, this is aimed squarely at fifty guys who want to put a roof wart on a $48,000 car to tell people he can afford better toys than you. It’s like Google Glass, except for your car and being slightly more likely to get you killed.
That said, somebody other than Google has to try and make these things affordable, and the benefits of a self-driving car are pretty major; combined with V2V and GPS systems, they could substantially cut down on crashes and injuries. But, of course, that requires widespread distribution and changes to the law in all 50 states, so for a while at least, these will mostly be status symbols for people who sold Facebook stock at the IPO price. On the other hand, we can’t think of a better set of guinea pigs for a potentially dangerous new technology, so that’s a positive, anyway.