On a recent drive back to Miami from Key West, I started to daydream about how nice it would be if I didn’t have to drive. I was worn out. But more importantly, there was a lot to see. Things I weren’t seeing because I was trying to keep my eyes on the road and the Jeep Cherokee in front of me stopping…going…stopping…and going. He or she was probably dealing with the same challenges.
I kept thinking when the first self-driving car would debut. My girlfriend Tara and I discussed the topic as we slogged along, trying to figure out how they would roll-out the new vehicles, literally. While I figured they’d have to do it all at once, Tara said it would most likely be done with special lanes at first. It was a good point. But what if the vehicle was that smart as to just manage itself on the current roadways?
Whichever the method, companies are already racing to get their prototypes for this car-of-tomorrow to market. While I always assumed Google would be the first to design a ‘smart road’ to automatically convert any vehicle to become a smart, self-driving car, it looks as though the car is going to arrive first. Enter Volvo, and this recent write-up from Engadget:
Long hailed as one of the safest car producers in the world, Volvo hopes to retain that reputation by introducing vehicles that can avoid passenger injuries on their own by the year 2020. Its plans hinge on eliminating the largest cause of road accidents — the drivers themselves.
The internet has changed everything. Assign a vehicle an IP address, plop it on a GPS system and you may have what we’ve all desired; more time to smell (and actually see) the roses.
The main technology underpinning Volvo’s autonomous automobiles is wireless internet, which would enable each car to be assigned a certain point on the road and give different vehicles the ability to interact with each other.
However they plan to do it, I’m ready. Accidents would drop dramatically and people would probably become more efficient and productive in everything they did. All little downtime works wonders. And if you’re like me and could use a nap, then hey, get a self-driving car.