California’s “hands-free” law went into effect in July, making it illegal to drive a motor vehicle while holding a cell phone to your ear. I haven’t seen any impact on the roads, but I can’t miss the impact in stores – from my local Costco to the Verizon Wireless stores, I’m bombarded with hands-free headset products and images.
Yet the newest hands-free device in CA has nothing to do with the phone – it’s the Pribot, a hands-free (actually, driver-free), robotic Prius that hit the streets of San Francisco and successfully crossed the Bay Bridge earlier this month…with police escort.
We love this kind of innovation – an inventor (Anthony Levandowski) with a full-time “day job” pursuing his dream in his spare time, trying to move the needle in a big way, in a direction that could have significant consumer benefits. We’re also suckers for anything involving robots and radar.
I’m trying to get the inventor on the phone so I can get you his perspective on his experience – including perspective on filming a segment about his invention for a new Discovery Channel show, Prototype This! – so stay tuned for more. In the meantime, I’m left wondering how soon before Dominos orders up a Pribot or two to test for pizza deliveries. I’ve got to believe this will be a reality within 10 years, tops.