If you love gadgets of all shapes and sizes, the latest innovation in the motor industry might just be your dream gizmo. Self driving cars are being tested by the great and the geeky the world over; from laser guided cars at Oxford University, to ‘seeing’ camera guided cars being tested in Nevada by Google. Add to that the various systems being trialed by Toyota and other leading car manufacturers and it looks like we could be spoilt for choice in our not too distant car buying future.
Google’s test car has clocked up an impressive 140,000 miles with no accidents. Ok, so there was a small bump at a set of traffic lights, but that was an error by a driver behind. Could ‘intelligent cars’ see an end to road rage? If we’re all being safely carried from A to Z by our laser guided future cars instead of careering dangerously close to the car in front and gesticulating out of the window perhaps we’ll become more chilled out? Or will we need to install a range of home appliances in our car to take advantage of the free time gained by not having to drive? I’m sure there’s enough room in a glove box for a mini microwave, perhaps a toaster? Breakfast on the go is becoming a workable option here.
Car-based culinary delights aside; will the potential ‘autopilot’ option take the fun out of driving? While the technology behind the cars of the future is sleek and sophisticated, I can’t help but hope that when self driving cars are activated they will replicate the autopilot scene from ‘Airplane!’ with an inflatable driver will pop up to steer us all safely to our destinations.
With so many companies testing a range of automated driving options, self driving cars look set to be on our roads. Let’s just hope we can still take the wheel and enjoy the open road occasionally. I won’t be complaining if that toaster idea works out though.