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We have all seen it in sci-fi movies, autonomous vehicles driving or even flying around. Seems like a pretty cool idea and certainly seems like it would make driving easier. As it turns out it the future is closer then you may think.  Recently the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International’s (AUVSI), yes there actually is such a group, met in Detroit to discuss this very real concept. According to them this very thing could be a reality in 2022, just a shot ten years away.

While it may seem a little controversial and it has many doubters there are numerous added benefits of self-driving cars. The most obvious would be that there would be far fewer wrecks and of course injuries and fatalities. Does the idea of no more traffic jams sound appealing? How about cheaper insurance? Drivers would be free to text, talk on the phone, read a book, work or maybe even take a short nap while your car did it’s driving. Want to go hit the bar Friday night? Have all of the fun you want since you won’t need a designated driver.

So besides automakers who else is in on this? In steps Google, the popular search engine. Besides the usefulness of Google Maps it seems they have invested heavily in creating the programs that will drive these cars. In fact they already have. Google teamed up with Toyota to outfit a Prius with their new technology and if you live in the San Francisco Bay area you might have already seen it. They have been testing it by making 100 mile trips from Google’s headquarters down into the city. They have logged over 250,000 miles with their self-driving cars. To be safe these cars and the cars of the future will be required to have a “manual mode” that can easily and quickly be activated. Google’s drivers use manual mode during rush hours.

The software is constantly monitoring hundreds of variables by using a vector modeling map that is independent of GPS. The technology is so state of the art that it can track a motorcycle splitting between two cars on a crowded freeway. It also encodes the location of all traffic lights and signals. So far Nevada is the only state to offer a law allowing autonomous vehicles.

GM is also testing out “limited autonomous driving” cars for sale and hopes to have them mid-decade more complete versions within the decade. Initial tests are being run with the Cadillac’s Super Cruise. Part of it is a matter of finding ways to keep costs down.

If you are one of those people likes driving you better do as much of it as you can now. Soon non-autonomous will be a thing of the past and you will have to see them in  a museum.

Bob White lives in North Carolina. If you need to promote your dealership online check out Jazel Autodealer Websites.