Look out Lewis Hamilton, your days are numbered. Or maybe not.
Google played the ultimate April Fools prank yesterday when it pronounced the establishment of ‘Google Racing’ with NASCAR, which will self drive racing cars electronically.
Google Racing, the “groundbreaking” partnership with NASCAR aims to develop “self-driving vehicles [which] compete in the world of stock car racing”, meaning Michael Schumacher, Mark Webber and Co would soon be out of a job.
Or at least have some very serious electronic competition.
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“We think the most important thing computers can do in the next decade is to drive cars… the most important thing Google Racing can do in the next decade is drive them, if possible, more quickly than anyone else,” pranksters Google wrote on its blog yesterday.
The project is still in its “infancy,” wrote Google Sergey Brin, Co-founder.
“We’re surer than ever that self-driving cars are one of them, capable of changing the world in all kinds of truly important ways, like reducing traffic and accidents by driving more efficiently, making correct split-second decisions and never shifting their focus off the road to check a map, text a friend, apply rear-view mirror mascara.”
But although it appears Google are fooling around, the project is likely to soon be a reality with the tech whizzes already having developed the self driving car, which they say “makes driving safer, more enjoyable and more efficient.” and released a new demo video just last week of blind man Steve Mahan behind the wheel.
“There’s much left to design and test, but we have now safely completed more than 200,000 miles of computer-led driving, gathering great experiences and an overwhelming number of enthusiastic supporters,” they blogged.