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.