WASHINGTON — Google's self-drive car project chief has disclosed that his motivation for ensuring that the technology is standard on roads within five years is that his eldest son is 11 years old and due to take his driving test in "four and a half years."
Chris Urmson told delegates at the Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference, "My teams are committed to making sure that doesn't happen," reported The Verge.
At a time when some automotive firms are introducing driver-assist functions in cars in the hope that the technology will gradually win over sceptics who would be uncomfortable in a fully automated car, Google has already dumped the steering wheel and other conventional controls altogether in lieu of a fully automated car.
The prototype electric pod revealed by Google in December will feature extra controls only for early testing so that its test drivers can take over if there is a problem.
The fact that people are driving more and getting stuck in traffic jams for longer was a good reason to roll out the technology out as soon as possible, Urmson added.