The Self-Driving Car of the Future is Here

Tom Vanderbilt writes about the current crop of self-driving cars in Wired. "After almost a hundred years in which driving has remained essentially unchanged, it has been completely transformed in just the past half decade."
January 23, 2012, 12pm PST | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Vanderbilt tracks the stunning advances in autonomous automobiles achieved over just the last few years; and it won't be long until our cars drive themselves.

"The last time I was in a self-driving car-Stanford University's 'Junior,' at the 2008 World Congress on Intelligent Transportation Systems-the VW Passat went 25 miles per hour down two closed-off blocks. Its signal achievement seemed to be stopping for a stop sign at an otherwise unoccupied intersection. Now, just a few years later, we are driving close to 70 mph with no human involvement on a busy public highway-a stunning demonstration of just how quickly, and dramatically, the horizon of possibility is expanding. "This car can do 75 mph," [Chris] Urmson says. "It can track pedestrians and cyclists. It understands traffic lights. It can merge at highway speeds."

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Published on Friday, January 20, 2012 in Wired
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