First, technology allows us to unlock our car doors and start the engine with the touch of a phone. Now, engineers are taking our pampered expectations to another level. The autonomous vehicle—cars that drive themselves.
Collaborating with Google, the Toyota Prius targets those drivers that just aren’t interested in driving. Loaded with sensors, video cameras, and Google’s data centers, the vehicle can be driven “hands on or off and trains itself on the routes you take”. The kinks still need to be ironed out as the idea of putting unmanned vehicles on the street would inevitably invite some legal problems, but it’s not as far in the future as some would think. Experts predict the cars could hit the streets before the decade ends and almost half of the drivers questioned said they would be comfortable in a driverless car.
In our world of constant text messages, emails, and deadlines, being chauffeured around sounds pretty good. But for those car enthusiasts who love handling their rides, knowing the automated technology is there is a little disheartening. There may be one silver lining for all drivers—the end of road rage.