Japan has just brought to life a car out of the future that movies keep telling us about! Meet Ropits, your Robot for Personal Intelligent Transport System!
Okay, it could probably do with Pimp My Ride treatment…
This car was designed with elderly and disabled drivers in mind, but the features are something any multitasking or lazy person would want to utilize. The car drives itself! And I mean navigates too. So gone are the days of no texting on the road. Read a book. Take a nap. The world is your oyster. (It looks like that’s what they modeled the shape of the car after).
It has all sorts of cool gadgetry: it can take steps and curbs, it has ED laser sensors and cameras to detect obstructions to the path like potholes or pedestrians, and you can do a manual override.
Here’re the oysterly details: it has a top speed of 4 mph. Buckle up!
With all the sophistication that went into this car, I know that this top speed is imposed by the creators and not by the limit of the technology. So I’m confident that this first model will be followed with progressively faster versions, as people become more comfortable maneuvering in the same space as them.
Right now, I see this as a great option for disabled/elderly people who want to go golfing. They’d fit right in with the golf carts.
I can also see this becoming the next Segway or Segway Tours in San Fransisco–a novelty tourist attraction. I’d love to see a little fleet of Ropits going down a street in flying V formation. People running out of the way in slow motion. Yes, I’m liking this image.
While I think this is a fantastic use of technology for a great cause, I’m not the only one that thinks the average person would love to do some last-minute cramming on their drive to class, sleep on their commute to work or make yourself up on your way to a hot date. And Google has really outdone themselves on this front.
California has a new bill signed into law that will allow driverless cars onto state roads in 2015. Enjoy your last 2 years of tickets and crashes, because Google’s autonomous Toyota Prius hybrids have logged 300,000 miles with only one accident (the human driver of the other vehicle was at fault).
Sweet. If this takes off, do you think people would even need driver’s licenses? The DMV would cease to exist and driver’s licenses would just be identification cards. I think I could handle that.
Happy Technology Tuesday!