While so many predictions about the early 21st century have been proven wrong (alien invasion anyone?), the idea of cars that can drive themselves is quickly becoming a reality.
Two weeks ago Cadillac promised that there would be self-driving cars by 2015. As any nerd would, I excitedly envisioned myself in the passenger seat of my auto-piloted card, safely doing the things which would likely cause a car accident in 'normal cars'. As a master at procrastination, I imagine have those extra few precious moments to finish my work by deadline.
But it seems that Google is ahead of Cadillac, as they have begun testing their own driverless car. Google has been issued the first licence for a driverless car by Nevada.
Google is confident about their car's capabilities, with some saying that it may in fact be safer than cars driven by humans. This is because cars don't get distracted by the things human drivers lower their guard for - we all know how things get when there's a grisly accident on the road.
But I do admit feeling some trepidation with the idea that these cars might go mainstream. Automatic gears have already rendered many drivers useless with older cars. Just imagine drivers who can't drive at all - what happens when the auto-pilot malfunctions?
On the other hand, this technology could open up new avenues for those who can't drive for medical reasons or because of disabilities. Self-driving cars could in fact become an assistive technology, giving those with disabilities and certain impediments a whole new level of autonomy.
What do you think about this advance in technology? Do you think it's viable or just another shiny gadget which will never become mainstream?