Google just gave Steve Mahan the ride of his life.
Accompanied by Morgan Hill Police Department Sergeant Troy Hoefling, Mahan recently got behind the wheel of Google's modified Toyota Prius, an autonomous vehicle built on technology outed by Google in late 2010 that does all the work for the person in the driver seat.
The trip, however short, was somewhat of a miracle to Mahan. (A video of the outing was posted on Google's official YouTube channel.)
After a few Taco Bell tacos and a quick pick-up of his dry cleaning, the ride came to an end. It wasn't quite like Al Pacino's Ferrari-driving experience in "Scent Of A Woman", but the legally-blind Mahan won't be quick to forget his time behind the wheel.
"This is some of the best driving I've ever done," Mahan, the CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Blind Center, jokes during the video. He also reveals that he's 95 percent blind.
Self-driving cars, while still years from potentially hitting the marketplace, are getting closer and closer to becoming an everyday reality. In February, Nevada became the first state to spell out regulations for companies testing driverless vehicles like Google's on public roads.
"Then they have to take us out and prove that they can do it," Bruce Breslow, director of the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles told the Associated Press. "They're not ready to go to market yet."
However many states, perhaps some with more complex traffic patterns, may not be so quick to let these automated automobiles hit the pavement. Safety concerns were raised after Google's car was involved in an accident in August of last year, though in an odd twist it turned out that someone was behind the wheel, physically controlling the vehicle, at the time of the crash.
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