If you’ve ever seen the 1980s show ‘Knight Rider,’ you’ve probably realized how revolutionary that car really was. KITT was able to drive himself and think independently from his driver, Michael Knight. The show was really ahead of its time when it aired in 1982 and inspired people to seriously consider the possibility of cars having the ability to drive themselves while their owners sit comfortably in the passenger seat.
Now, almost thirty years later, the idea doesn’t seem as farfetched anymore.
In the not so distant future, these smart cars will come loaded with special features, such as the ability to predict driving habits, be cognizant of where it is, what buildings are nearby and which cars are near it on the road.
It sounds like something out of ‘I Robot’ or ‘Bicentennial Man,’ but the technology is in the works and a concept car has been designed. One of the most interesting examples was recently shown at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this month. It’s called the BMW ConceptVision Connected Drive, and it uses a unique color scheme to help drivers get information from their car: blue is for entertainment while red signifies safety.
Thilo Koslowski is the vice president of automotive research at Gartner, and has called this kind of location-awareness the latest auto tech trend. Using this technology, the car has the ability to sense where you are at all times, knows your music and movie preferences, and can interact with other cars on the roadway.
“Cars are becoming smarter and communicating intelligently with the outside world,” he told FoxNews.com. Over the next ten years, he said, cars will “crowd source” information from other drivers as they pass your vehicle, learning where the best restaurants are located and the best traffic routes. The car will become an information hub: ordering movie tickets for you and even making dinner reservations.
“Cars will become the ultimate mobile device,” he said. “And even more so because they truly are mobile. Making information more accessible to the driver has become a new automotive focus.”
It goes without saying that one of the highest goals of utilizing this type of technology is equipping the car with the ability to actually drive itself. I wonder if this will put a new spin on the typical road trip. How convenient would it be to just enable the car to drive itself while you curl up in the passenger seat for a quick cat nap? Volvo is currently making a car that will have the autonomous driving feature. Not only can accidents be reduced because human error would be virtually eliminated, but fuel economy will be increased since a computer can drive more efficiently.
So…what do you think? Would you ever allow a car to drive you around? Or do you like to be in total control of your vehicle?