Monday, January 11, 2010

2015 - Autopilot Vehicles Common

It is expected that by 2015 a number of models of popular cars and trucks will be equipped to drive themselves at least part of the time with the help of on-board computers, GPS satellite navigation, and sensors, lasers and video cameras that will detect other objects around them. However, most experts say that people will generally want to retain control for some aspects of driving and manual options will still be included in vehicles. The concept car pictured here is the winner of a 2005 Peugeot design contest; the car design was proposed by Andre Costa.

General Motors announced in 2005 that it expects it could have a self-driving car that could pilot itself in heavy traffic at a speed of up to 60 mph in production by 2008. A team from Stanford University won a $2 million cash prize in 2005 for designing a robotic car that maneuvered across a difficult 132-mile course in the Mojave Desert.

A car on autopilot would allow the driver to take a nap, read or complete work for his or her job. There might be a feature for dimming the windows or altering their look to provide a more soothing interior environment with few distractions.

KPMG analyst Bernard Salt says cars will also be "smaller and tailor-made to the owner's specifications; they will be micro-designed and micro-marketed; an electronic fusion of home and office; a communications center as much as a means of transportation." He says people may also have the option of owning cars that have changeable exterior colors to fit their moods.

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