The Future, It's Now: Self-Driving Automobiles

January 19, 2011


Seen here driving like most @$$holes I see around here looking a little too happy for a guy who's still gonna spill scalding coffee on his nuts when the truck in front of him stops, a man demonstrates the luxury of a self-driving car. Like we're supposed to believe he wouldn't be masturbating!

Self-driving cars have left the realm of science fiction thanks to the European Safe Road Trains for the Environment (SARTRE) project and a little help from the safety-obsessives at Volvo.

SARTRE has been researching and developing a new system that enables a convoy of cars to be autonomously led behind a vehicle manned by a professional driver. The lead vehicle of the "train" isn't anything special - just a cargo truck - but the Volvo S60 on his six is outfitted with a range of sensors, monitors and motors which allow it to follow in its path. A network of these vehicles could tuck in behind each other and allow the drivers to sit back, enjoy a cup of coffee and get through the morning paper on their way to work. Some version of the system is expected to become a reality by 2020

So, uh, I still have to trust the lead-truck driver to not steer all us lemmings off a cliff? I'm not sure how I feel about that. Wait, yes I do, and I don't like it. "But GW, think of the possibilities!" Right, like still crashing into a ditch while texting? Thanks but no thanks, Road Trains, but I'd rather get tangled in power lines jetpacking to work any day.

4:00 video that I may or may yes have only watched 1:00 of after the jump.

Watch This: SARTRE self-driving auto train hits the road [translogic]

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