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Autonomous Cars By 2020?


Senior Member


Senior Member
I've been watching some Youtube videos and reading up some more on this. There will be a halfway autonomous car on the road in 2014, which is the Mercedes. It can park and take over driving during traffic jams.

Google plans to have a car out in five years.Yes, you read that right - not a car company, but a search engine company. Apple also has designs on the autonomous car biz. Your car could become more of a traveling office than it already is, and be safer in the process.

California, Nevada and Oregon? I think have passed laws defining what autonomous cars are and given a license to a couple of autonomous cars (for testing purposes).

Since these cars are expensive, another likely scenario is car sharing, basically an autonomous taxi service. You don't own a car, you just call one when you need it, and it comes to you.

There are some downsides, such as in the car sharing scenario, loss of taxi driving jobs. The same thing could occur with trucks hauling goods and truck drivers.

What if your autonomous car hits a pedestrian and kills him? Who is liable? You, the software company, the car manufacturer, nobody?

Assuming the cars themselves have all the bugs worked out, what if there is a system-wide failure such as if a GPS satellite goes out while you're being driven? What if there is a hacker attack? (They are supposed to be working on this one.) What if a terrorist decides to call up a shared car and then send it to a destination with a bomb in it?

Just to end on a upbeat note though, here is a Youtube video - notice what the driver is carrying once he gets out of the car. And this really cracks me up - the thing rotating on top of the car looks to me like a spinning bucket of fried chicken (it's actually a laser).