The announcement of Google's self-driving bespoke car today – as portrayed in the internet giant's video, below – has put the whole subject in the media spotlight.

No doubt that Google has spent millions on the tech and has put self-driving in the mainstream media.

The reality, though, is that they're not the only ones: Nissan, Mercedes-Benz and Audi to name three have all promised to have self-drivers on the market before the decade's out.

Further reading: Volvo previews autonomous car test scheme.

Self-driving in cities has its attractions. Imagine a scene where you could read the paper or tackle the day's early e-mails as you're being electronically chauffeured to work. 

Older and disabled drivers too would doubtless benefit from extended mobility or personal mobility that wasn't available before.

The question is are we ready for self-driving cars? Or do we want them?

It also throws up other moral and legislative questions. The head of Google's self-driving car project, Chris Urmson, seems to be suggesting that drink-driving was a thing of the past. But surely if that was the case then passenger jets could be on autopilot while the Captain supped pinot grigio... Surely we still want drivers to be compos mentis to take control in the event of electronic malfunction.