Look Ma! No Hands!

News: Maya Angelou (Marguerite Annie Johnson), writer, born 4 April 1928; died today, 28 May 2014. xxxx R.I.P.

OK. I need some input here. I’ve just read about this:

A Driverless Car produced by Google – see this short video:

I was reading this article entitled “Google Reveals Diverless Car Prototype.” Go have a look yourself.

I may be totally behind the times and, being a retired old woman of 66, I am finding it hard to believe this type of thing will really work!

But just have a look at the video! It does appear to work. Those women, children, and elderly men are all riding along in this car, which has no steering wheel, no gas or brake pedals, no controls at all except for an emergency “stop” button.

My question is this – what did they promise these people to get them to take a spin in this thing?

I have to admit, it’s cute as all get-out. I love those little round bug-type-cars that you see around now-a-days. When we were in the UK, we’d always see those little cars that had 2 wheels in the back and only 1 wheel in the front! So cute… but I just don’t know… I keep thinking it will tip over if it goes around a sharp corner!

What do you think about having a car with no controls?

I have not investigated it in detail yet. I don’t know how it’s run… I have to go back and read more. Does it run on voice recognition? You just get in and say “go to Market Basket in Salem”?

This is all very interesting to me. I don’t drive because I don’t trust myself out on the crazy roads in this city these days. My senses are slower and my legs always hurt, especially when sitting in that car seat. So I never take my car out of the driveway. If I had a car that would drive me anywhere I wanted to go, all by itself, by me just telling it where to go… well, I might become a lot more mobile again! And this is just the point that the people at Google are making. It could change the world!

And we all know how Google has already changed the world now, don’t we?

So let’s just give it a chance and see how it progresses. I am not discounting this idea yet. I just hope I live long enough to see it put into action in our society and successfully!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

On another note, you may know that I am a huge tennis fan. I don’t play tennis myself but I love to watch the game. I have the Tennis Channel on my cable line-up and at any given day, I can watch a tournament somewhere in the world. Right now I’m watching the early stages of The French Open. And today I learned something that has just made my day — on day 4 of this tournament, yesterday, an unknown-to-me Spanish woman called Garbine Muguruza



Garbine Muguruza,

Spain

beat, in straight sets, 6-2 and 6-2, the nemesis of all the other female tennis players in the world – Serena Williams! Beat her! In the 2nd round! Venus Williams also was beaten yesterday, as well, in the same round, but that doesn’t surprise me as she is quite often eliminated early on these days. But Serena?

Just…. WOW!

This opens up the whole women’s side of this tournament for me. I have a lot of women I like these days, and now it seems they all have a chance at the prize! Now if only that Roger Federer could get himself eliminated, I’d be a totally happy woman (sorry Sheila, I know you love him!).



Roger Federer, Switzerland

I know, I know… many people revere the “King of Tennis” but not I. He gives me the shivers and I’ve never liked him even one iota. He may be a very nice man, with his two sets of twins and all, but he’s just not my cuppa. I am a Rafa gal and will support Rafa Nadal until he decides to give up the game.



Rafael Nadal, Spain

So that’s it on the tennis front. A whole new world has opened up now… personally, I really like Eugenie Bouchard from Canada:



Eugenie Bouchard,

Canada

And I always root for Sara Errani of Italy:



Sara Errani, Italy

as well as Angelique Kerber of Germany:



Angelique Kerber, Germany

Love that woman, so strong! There are more but I’ll stop now… I am just happy that the field of women tennis players is so strong at the moment.

Cheers on a rainy Wednesday morning,

Bex

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12 Responses to Look Ma! No Hands!

  1. Um, I won’t even use Cruise Control.

    Regarding your query, “What did they promise these people to take a spin…”

    I laughed because my first thought was… it’s a variation of a clinical trial! Above ALL else, when people enter a clinical trial, it’s emphasized that we are an integral component to making history… and this little car is certainly a history maker. 🙂 Regarding the studies I’ve been in: one paid $35 each time to cover travel. Bristol Myers Squibb paid $103 each time – as well as paying for a hotel one night when the study first started.

    But back to the car… I don’t think I’m a good candidate. 🙂 Here I am filling my body with all kinds of mysterious drugs – and the car scares me silly!

    Like

  2. TopsyTurvy says:

    There are apparently several companies, including car manufacturers, that have created prototypes for these driverless cars. For now, I think they’d do well for those who can’t drive, using them only for short trips like shopping. I think the idea of a driverless fleet of cabs is a great idea (except for putting the cabbies out of work).

    I do wonder, though, about how some people would take to this. I mean can you imagine the aggressive drivers giving up control of their cars. Some personalities wouldn’t be able to give up control, and not out of fear, either.

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  3. Sandy in Chicago says:

    I have mixed feelings. They’re controlled by lasers & radar sensors. I would worry about equipment failure & the inability to steer if emergencies came up. Like Maggie I would also worry about snow, ice and rain causing the cars to skid out. It doesn’t look like they have a lot of protection on the front end.

    But they also said they could use these as on-demand taxis that you’d call with your smartphone. That got me to thinking about older people who can’t drive any more and want to still be independent. Also the handicapped. They’d be able to shop, run errands etc and still have mobility.

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  4. Eric Mayer says:

    I have no doubt that someday, maybe today, someone will be able to design a robot that’s a better driver in most ways than I am. But there are so many possible emergencies that such a car might have to deal with. I wouldn’t be comfortable in one. I’m not even comfortable putting my bank deposits into the ATM machine. I still go in and hand them to a teller.

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  5. sandy freel says:

    Well that would be interesting way to get around…25 is hard for me to deal with..I have a bad habit of zipping around…thanks for links and input

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  6. Bex says:

    One thing I failed to mention was that these cars only will go 25 mph at the present time. So at that speed, probably no highway driving. Just around town. Probably. Maybe. Unless, of course, ALL vehicles on ALL roads were driverless – but will that EVER happen? Can you picture a driverless tractor trailer going down the highway?

    There are just so many aspects to this that must be considered and perfected before these things would be accepted by the driving public.

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  7. Bonnie says:

    I don’t know if I would want to be on our freeways by a semi in one of these things. If it depends on their maps to get it where you want to go I’d never get there.

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  8. Bex says:

    Nina, so true… they ARE the transport of the future. We just have to accept big changes..

    I was listening to talk radio the other (over)night and the subject was motorcycles. The host wanted to buy one and he was looking for recommendations. Several callers had the same message – whatever you get, just watch out like a hawk for drivers who are on their phones/gadgets etc. while they are driving. They have been run right off the highway many times by drivers who lose control, swerving into their lane, etc., and don’t notice the motorcyclists as easily as they do the cars/trucks. They all said you just have to be very aggressive in paying total attention to every vehicle around you these days – which is true for car drivers but even more so for motorcyclists (and scooter drivers!).

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  9. Nina Camic says:

    Oh, we’ve been following these cars for a while now — they are absolutely the transportation of the future — far safer than what we have on the road now: people who drink, text, chat, sleep — at the same time that they are “driving.”

    Great post, Bex — full of your curiosities and passions!

    Like

  10. Bex says:

    Harriet – thanks for that laugh… I needed a good laugh today! you are so funny.

    Maggie – I think it would only work if ALL cars were like this one… no others on the road messing up the works. It really does take a huge imagination to visualize it in practice, though…

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  11. The concept makes me nervous. Snow. Ice. High Winds. Other vehicles. Moose stepping onto the road. Getting out of a ditch after being run off the road. Speeders. Well… drivers are insane where we live, and hyper aggressive, it will be interesting to see how their aggressive, me-only attitudes will translate in using vehicles like this.

    A hierarchy, where the rich have vehicles that can take priority because they pay more; will they bounce less prestigious vehicles out of the way.

    Like

  12. l'empress says:

    I would try it, just to find out whether it’s real. I have always wanted something like that — preferably pliable enough to fold up and put in my purse when I get out.

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