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Self-Driving Cars Are Going to Change Our Habits

Self-Driving Cars Are Going to Change Our Habits

The Information Age has brought us many incredible tech advancements, and Google has always been at the forefront. Back in 2001, we first saw Google Images, and had access to millions of photos in one place. In 2004 Gmail launched giving us one of the all time greatest email platforms. Fast forward almost a decade to May of 2012 and something unimaginable surfaced.

The Self-Driving Phenomenon

With significant advancements in robotics and algorithmic thinking, Google has successfully done what was previously believed to be impossible. In May of 2012, Google retrofitted a Toyota Prius with self-driving technology and it legally drove itself for the first time in Nevada. In a modern story of sci-fi turned reality, the self-driving car finally exists.

Aspects of Change

Google plans to change the world with this idea. Think of all the ways in which a person currently commutes. The days of bus travel, paying for expensive taxi rides, and even driving yourself will soon be over. Furthermore, safety in all forms of travel will be greatly increased as human error is taken out of the picture.

The safety risks behind text or talking on your phone while driving are a real issue. In a recent study by AT&T, it was discovered that on average 70% of drivers regularly use their smartphones while operating a vehicle. The world is addicted to their phones, but once driving yourself becomes obsolete, this will be acceptable and safe. One could even start working remotely while being chauffeured autonomously.

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The Science Behind Self-Driving Tech

Google stated that it expects to commercialize their groundbreaking line of automobiles soon; mainstream public use is expected to start between 2017 and 2020. A main concern for most people when introduced with the idea of automated travel is safety. Are these cars actually consistently safe? Short answer: yes, definitely!
Google X, the special team behind the driverless car uses intricate algorithms and in-depth Google Maps technology to keep passengers safe. Recently, a Google customized Audi Q5 SUV completed a legendary 3400 mile solo road trip from coast to coast. The driverless Audi made 99% of the trip on its own, with a remote driver only taking over for a particularly confusing 50 mile stretch of roadway.

google-driverless-car-explained

    Explanation of Google’s electric driverless car via 9to5 Google

    The driverless car by Google is a technological wonder. It uses radars and other sensors that are strategically placed on the front and back, as well as near the wheels. The driverless car features a rotating radar on the top, known as a Lidar (light detection and ranging). Lidars analyze pulses of light, which helps the car identify lane markings and the edges of roadways.

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    All self-driving cars use cameras in the front and rear. These are crucially important and look for street lights to change, identify traffic patterns and variables, and help share the road, keeping cyclists in mind.

    Even the construction of the car’s body itself was created to allow for zero sensor ‘blind spots’. The rounded shape gives the car a near 360 degree view of its surroundings. As far as the interior goes, it is designed solely for passengers, and is spacious and comfortable for a two seat automobile.

    Ironically enough, the biggest limitations for Google’s autonomous vehicles are human drivers! Of the few accidents accounted for in Google’s monthly self-driving report, the vast majority have been due to uncontrollable, outside factors: mainly other careless drivers.

    The Famous Self-Driving Models

    Three of Google’s driverless cars stand out as face of this unique travel concept. The Mercedes F 015 being the most notable and futuristic looking.

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    merc

      The Mercedes F 015, check out this video for a more in depth view.

      prototype-early-2014

        Google’s 2014 self-driving prototype

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        lexus RX450h

          The driverless Lexus RX 450h

          For some additional information on this new technological wonder, check out another article I wrote about self-driving cars.

          Featured photo credit: Self-driving car on the road / Google via google.com

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          Robert Parmer

          Freelance Writer

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          Last Updated on May 14, 2019

          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

          8 Replacements for Google Notebook

          Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

          1. Zoho Notebook
            If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
          2. Evernote
            The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
          3. Net Notes
            If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
          4. i-Lighter
            You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
          5. Clipmarks
            For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
          6. UberNote
            If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
          7. iLeonardo
            iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
          8. Zotero
            Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

          I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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          In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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