Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In The Future No One Will Know How To Drive

The above video is of a New Scientist reporter experiencing a "road train." From the story:
The most alarming thing about taking your hands off the steering wheel when hurtling along the road at 90 kilometres an hour is just how quickly you get used it. There is a brief moment of initial uncertainty, but then you quickly stop worrying about who is control and just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Welcome to the brave new world of semi-autonomous cars. I say "semi" because this car is not entirely driving itself. Volvo calls it a platoon: a convoy of moving cars that are wirelessly coupled together, one behind the other, into a road train, all under the control of a single professional lead driver.
I do expect that people will get used to not driving pretty quickly, though the road train technology doesn't seem as likely to take off as fully autonomous vehicles. Here is another story about autonomous cars that explains that cars communicate around corners and substantially reduce collisions. And here is a CNN/Wired piece that suggests no one will need a drivers license by 2040.

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