Baby steps towards self-driving cars

My brother has a new Mercedes GL that I rode in over the holiday break. One feature I thought was very clever was a triangular light on either side mirror that would light up if another car was in the blind spot. If you don't look over your shoulders and only glance at your side mirrors when changing lanes, it's a useful, if not life-saving feature.

That's among several innovative safety features available for the GL like auto braking and lane integrity maintenance, though many come only as paid add-ons. None of these will approach Google's self-driving cars in terms of impact on the world, but it's good to see car manufacturers innovating on safety by assisting humans with active disaster avoidance technology.

Incidentally, I saw my first Google self-driving car today as I came out of lunch. It was parked at the curb just outside Marlowe in SOMA. I have no idea if it drove itself there. It had a camera mounted on its roof that was spinning rapidly, perhaps serving as one of its eyes. Some are intrigued by Google Glasses, but I find self-driving cars to be Google's most compelling project. The global impact of self-driving cars will be many times greater.