Robotic cars drive themselves

GM will launch self-driving car in 2008

From the article:If GM pulls it off, this would be a leap forward for robotic technology. Combine it with lessons learned from the Grand Challenge and totally autonomous cars are just not that far away.

What this means is that autonomous, 24x7 trucks are not that far away either, and there is a huge economic incentive to deploy them. Once the robotic trucks arrive, it means that a million truck drivers will hit the unemployment lines. See Robots taking jobs for details.

[See also A Car That (Really) Drives Itself: The 2008 Opel Vectra]

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Another article, from The Economist: The self-driving car comes closer—but difficulties remain
Don't expect fully-automated, self-driving cars in our lifetimes. Just like embryonic stem cells, this is another area where politics comes into view. Self-steering cars are currently illegal in Europe and the US. It will take a good several decades to lift these restrictions.
It's already enough that gas prices are going up to hurt the joy of the drive, now a computer wants to take away that privlage?

A self driving car huh? May as well call it a self driving bomb ;) I could image a terrorist wanting to get a hold of that.
Though Self-drive may be a while away I am looking forward to some of the techlogogy filtering through,(probally under the guise of "driver assistance") such as cars that stay in lane, don't get too close to the car in front etc.
It's amazing to me how laughable people are towards this idea. There are so many benefits to robotic cars:

* safety
* efficiency
* safety
* safety
* safety
Driving is a privilege?

We just drove from Seattle to Santa Cruz. Trust me, if we could have used automatic driving on the freeways, we'd have gotten there much quicker, (fewer rest breaks needed,) must safer, and it would have been a much more enjoyable trip.

We're going to see this in our lifetime, likely in 10-15 years. The current "wireless in the car" stuff is a ploy by the industry to get the necessary infrastructure in place, to get people used to it, for when we go to automating the vehicles. Since 1990, Congress and industry have been working on this technology. There's lots of work going on in South Korea and Europe, as well, right now.

After a quick search, I have just discovered that I-15 in California (site of the famous 1997 automated transport (1) (2) ) is about to be reused as a test track for automated vehicles.

And I'm not looking hard. If you just poke around online a little, you'll see a ton of this stuff. You can get current on the plans and motions.

The wireless devices in people's cars are being sold as "fun quirky devices and you can see movies in the back seat!"

The real motive is to get the wireless infrastructure, the GPS, and the vehicle control electronics in place, so that people are used to putting electronics together with cars, and so that control and sensing mechanisms are in placee. Then it's mainly a software and political issue. The solution is code and protocols, which already exist, and then making test cases and public familiarization.
Since GM is notoriously full of vacuous hype (just look at their non-functioning HyWire concept, and their 5 year lag in the development of a real working hybrid). I'd sooner expect Lexus (a Toyota company) to offer something like this in a reliable vehicle that really works. GM... meh. They'll be lucky if they survive in 5-10 years at their current rate of "innovation".
I don't think the point is whether it's GM or Lexus; the point is that it will happen.

Wireless computers will enter into cars, and cars will be electronically controlled.

It is inevitable that the car as we know it will become a sophisticated electro-chemical-mechanical transport device capable of communicating with other vehicles.

If we believe that, then it only makes sense that the vehicles will be able to drive almost entirely autonomously. The only piece of "driving" that will remain is naming a destination.

When computers develop a sense of what we are doing and why, we probably won't even need to communicate that. They'll just take us to where we need to be, to complete whatever it is that we're doing.

That may sound ominous, but realize that today, you probably go to work in the morning, and then come home at night.

By 2025, you may well just Virtual Reality to work, and not really go anywhere. But I mean: To help communicate how routinized transportation is, and how easy and non-threatening it would be for a car to automatically take you somewhere.

-- Lion Kimbro
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Self driving cars will happen. I mean come on the biggest killer isnt cancer, or anything other then people killing each other in there cars. The only limitation is are computers and the electronics reliable enough to take the extreme heat and cold over many years?
The safest part of a robotic car would be to face all the seats to the rear of the car. Then you're better off in case of an accident, and you won't need an airbag.
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