Google co-founder Larry Page sat down with the Internet giant's former CEO, Eric Schmidt, for a Q&A session during this week's Zeitgeist 2011 event, and when the topic of increasing processor speed came from an audience member, Schmidt went into the infinite possibilities afforded "when you have all the computing power and all the telemetry and everything going on in the world in real time." Not surprisingly, Page made the leap right to autonomous cars.

"The automated car stuff is a good example of this possibility," Page told the assembled masses. "It seemed pretty practical. You think that driving a car is hard, but it's actually not that hard... for a computer. If the computer has good data about what's around it."

And then Chairman Schmidt jumps in with this gem: "Our computers drive our cars better than you do when you're drunk. That's our starting point."

That's not a very high bar Mr. Schmidt, but we digress...

Check out the conversation starting at around the 29 minute mark in the video after the jump.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      benderillo
      • 3 Years Ago
      I don't know, I'm a pretty good drunk driver.
      GianniG
      • 3 Years Ago
      I beg to differ. I challenge Google to get me drunk and do the comparison on a test track.
      Narom
      • 3 Years Ago
      "That's not a very high bar Mr. Schmidt, but we digress..." Bearing in mind there are far worse drivers on the road than the ones that are drunk, it really wouldn't be out of place.
      krische
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm actually for automated car driving. Makes it a lot less like to get rear-ended or t-boned by some jackass texting. It's not like automotive sport is going to go anywhere.
      scaaaarface
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd love to be able to get into my car drunk on a Saturday night and just say "take me home car". Although after reading this I wonder if I'm better off just continuing to drive drunk.
        Chris Chancellor
        • 3 Years Ago
        @scaaaarface
        The technology will get better. Right now it's a little rough around the edges, but it will improve with time.
          Xedicon
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Chris Chancellor
          It will get better, and it does have a certain appeal, but I personally want to at least retain the option to drive my own car, and pick my own gears. I love to drive, and sadly the ability to drive a fully engaging car is slowly dying. I think in response I need to buy a 30s coupe of some kind and make it my daily driver!
      kevsflanagan
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hey if they are just getting started and it drives like us when we are drunk then in a few years of development and actual road use things will prove interesting.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        throwback
        • 3 Years Ago
        That's assuming it's optional. They'll be those politicians who will think it should be mandatory, after all they only want "to take care of us"
        r_r
        • 3 Years Ago
        We would be driving our cars only in a private track..... illegally.
      airchompers
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think "drunk driving" will be the way to introduce this to mass market. You can get state support easily. You can get insurance company supprt. And you can get consumers to demand it.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      Google Maps? Hell, it would probably take you down a logging road in a blizzard, or out into the middle of the desert. No thanks, Comrade Schmidt.
      Timothy Tibbetts
      • 3 Years Ago
      Amazing what that sort of money does for you. You have a really, really stupid idea and everyone arounds you tell you that you're right and you stroll out spend a ton of money trying to accomplish an assinine goal. Worked for a large company once where that was all the employees did, tell the boss he was right and everything was ok.
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      Woo hoo. Atomated cars. Let's just cut off our legs and go around in motorized chairs. Because walking is such a store.
        Justin Campanale
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        *automated* and *chore* instead of *store* How many times do I need to make rants about AB's edit button (or tthe lack of one) before they finally give us one?
      protovici
      • 3 Years Ago
      Two things: The guy on the right needs to move his microphone and second, since a human developed the system, then a human is still driving the car not under the influence.
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