The Ultimate Driving Machine, Literally

by Karen Knapstein

Like a lot of technology, we often wonder if ideas for new stuff come from “The Jetsons” or the Tomorrowland exhibit at EPCOT center. When it comes to cars that drive themsleves, however, we’d be wrong. Sure, George Jetson didn’t have to drive his own car, but as it turns out, the impetus for this new technology is The Pentagon. They’ve been holding what amounts to huge, tech-centric science fairs known as DARPA Grand Challenges for a few years now, hoping to find innovations that might come in handy on a battlefield. Some of those turn into consumer innovations too. 

The driverless car is right up that alley. Think about it — a military supply convoy suddenly becomes a lot less risky if there are no soldiers put into harms way along the road. The fact that this techology could make life for the average commuter much more pleasant is just an added bonus to the lives it could save. 

Most of the cars (a few different companies are developing their own versions) work by using cameras and a roving laser, as well as speed censors. At least one company that’s testing the cars claims that the only issue so far with accidents has been when a car was hit from behind when it stopped at a traffic light. So, does it seem like Jetsons-style rides are on there way to the road? Would you feel comfortable in a car that drives itself? Tell us!

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