Self-Driving Cars

Google announced recently that its self-driving car project is moving to the next phase: they are building electric prototypes with no steering wheels or pedals, just Go and Stop buttons. These vehicles will be tested in the state of California, who just approved new laws for prototype autonomous cars. Here is a short video of how the new Google Car works.
While Google is one of many companies leading the development of autonomous cars for use on public roads, some less known companies have a already deployed fleets of unmanned autonomous trucks. Specifically, they are autonomous hauling trucks that are used in open pit mines. Since these sites are private locations and heavily controlled, they are not subject to the same regulations as public roads and make great test beds for autonomous vehicles. These are really big robots! It's interesting to note that although autonomous haulage systems like these require fewer drivers, the video explains that the mine still needs about the same amount of employees since they need more mine fleet operators, employees for monitoring and maintenance, and for other related activities. This is a good example of how robots can create as many jobs as they replace. Via IEEE Spectrum and IEEE Spectrum.
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