Google's self-driving car project is ambitious at heart--working with DARPA, Google is aiming to cut the number of traffic-related fatalities by as much as half, saving fuel along the way. But the badassery of the project has been kept largely under wraps until now: This video comes from a demonstration at a TED conference, and we can see that Google's robot drivers have the cold, steel heart of a rally driver.
The video shows a self-driven car powering through a test course, screaming around tight curves with total precision--not the hesitant, leisurely drive the video operator expected. It's not clear if the course was pre-mapped into the car's navigation or if it was using its sensors to pilot in real-time, but either way it's both impressive and intense.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.