Nissan Will Offer Driverless Cars by 2020

Autonomous Nissan Leaf

Making a huge splash in the transportation industry, Nissan has just announced they will offer multiple driverless cars by 2020. The Japanese auto-maker has jumped into the race for “autonomous vehicles” by showing off a driverless prototype of the Nissan Leaf on a military base in Irvine, CA.

“In 2007 I pledged that – by 2010 – Nissan would mass market a zero-emission vehicle. Today, the Nissan LEAF is the best-selling electric vehicle in history. Now I am committing to be ready to introduce a new ground-breaking technology, Autonomous Drive, by 2020, and we are on track to realize it.” – Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn

Oxford/Nissan Driverless Car

Google has long been the name associated with driverless car technology, but according to the press release, Nissan has been working on this innovative transportation technology for years alongside top universities MIT, Stanford, and Oxford.

The vehicles operate differently than the cars developed by Google, in that they utilize laser scanners and artificial intelligence, but do not require internet access.

Both companies however, have similar reasons for developing the technology as it aims at eliminating crashes, reducing carbon emissions, and even offering more mobility and freedom to the elderly.

“Six million crashes in the US per year cost $160 billion and rank as the top reason of death for four- to 34-year olds. And, 93% of accidents in the US are due to human error, typically due to inattention.” – Nissan press release

I love this project for the good that it can do for humanity in many different ways, and I hope that others follow suit and pursue humanity friendly business projects.

Google Has Everything! Life Extension Will Be the Ultimate Job Perk

Google engineers may be the first to experience life-extending technologies as a job perk. Google Director of Staffing, Todd Carlisle, hinted at the possibility at the end of a forum on attracting top talent in Silicon Valley.

What if where you worked extended your life? If you got the best medical care along with the best job. You would’t want to leave.

This idea is consistent with the hire of Ray Kurzweil in 2012 as the Director of Engineering. Kurzweil is the most vocal and reliable proponent of the future technological singularity. The singularity is a time in the future when humans transcend biology to merge with technology; essentially sidestepping death.

Future Cyborg




If this ever came to fruition, how could any other companies compete? Cisco and Twitter were also in the discussion with topics such as: salary-levels, working from home, learning opportunities, and even free food and beer. Those are all nice and well, but compared to evolving a longer life-span, they don’t even register.

This is like a video game when your power is really low, flashing bright red, you’re inches from death, and there stands Google across the bridge with an extra life.

The Singularity -The Inexplicable Future of Humans and Technology

The singularity is a term borrowed from physics by Google’s chief engineer, Ray Kurzweil. The meaning in physics relates to the point inside of a black hole at which the laws of physics have completely broken down. Kurzweil’s definition refers to a point in the future at which technology has increased to such a high level that it is not possible to perceive a difference between technology and humanity.

Imagine a time in the future that has changed so much that, like physical laws in a black hole, life as we know it to be ceases to exist, and life begins anew in a completely different context. This is similar to the point in our evolution when language developed… try explaining to a non-lingual, pre-human the verses of Shakespeare, or the verses of Jay-Z for that matter.

The life expectancy was 20, 1,000 years ago, we doubled it in 200 years. This will go into high gear within 10 and 20 years from now, probably less than 15, we will be reaching that tipping point where we add more time than has gone by because of scientific progress.”…Based on conservative estimates of the amount of computation you need to functionally simulate a human brain, we’ll be able to expand the scope of our intelligence a billion-fold.” – Ray Kurzweil

Beginning is Near

The most amazing part is the time-frame that is projected. By Kurzweil’s estimates based on the exponential leaps shown by Moore’s Law, we may reach this tech-haven by 2045. So that’s all there is to it… hold on for 32 more years and it’s all virtual reality gravy. I’ll leave you with this by Friedrich Nietzsche…

“Man is something that shall be overcome…. Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman — a rope over an abyss… What is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end.”