Google has just released video of its self-driving car (possible Transformer?) helping a legally blind man run some errands. It's much less scary than the last nerve-wracking footage of Google's self-driving car, even though it does feature a trip to the humid lair of the Doritos Locos Taco.
Behind the wheel is Steve Mahan, a soft-spoken old man rocking an adorable newsboy cap. The video makes it seem like the Taco Bell run was his idea. Like he doesn't have bigger dreams.
While, at this point, Google's driverless car has clocked over 200,000 test miles without incident, it's still a long way from mainstream use. According to USA Today, vehicle's key feature is a laser-range finder, which it uses to map out surroundings and respond to GPS signals. That piece of equipment alone runs about $70,000.
German auto company Continental AG is much closer to making its semi-autonomous modified VW Passat publicly available. Their car is expected to reach 10,000 test miles within the coming weeks, making it eligible for Nevada roadways. (Nevada became the first state to approve the operation of self-driving vehicles on its roadways last month.)
Unlike Google's Prius, which is fully-autonomous, Continental's Passat requires a driver to take control when passing another vehicle or changing lanes.