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Google’s Self-Driving Car Could Save Lives, Says Chris Urmson, a Siebel Scholar and Technical Director of the Project

ARTICLE BY: All Tech Considered

NPR

February 24th 2016

Chris Urmson (Carnegie Mellon CS '05), the technical director of the Google self-driving car project spoke to NPR about how the cars could be a value to society.

The interview began with Urmson discussing the need for self-driving cars.

 

 

Here's an excerpt of his comments:

It really starts with safety. In America, there's 33,000 people that are killed on the road every year, and to put that in perspective, that's equivalent of a 737 falling out of the sky five days a week. ... There is just a tremendous opportunity there to save lives — 94 percent of those accidents are due to human error, and the good news is we can build software and hardware that can see the road and pay attention all the time and react more quickly and keep people safe on the road. The other big aspect is accessibility. When you think about the baby boomer generation, they're starting to get to a point where they feel uncomfortable driving or their family feels uncomfortable about them driving. Making sure they have access to transportation, to continue to do all the things they do today — to go and visit their grandchildren or just to go to a coffee shop — we think that is an incredibly important use for this type of technology. 

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Siebel Scholars can connect with Urmson by logging into our Community Website.