Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A Car That Steers Itself. Science Fiction Becomes Fact.

The prediction that cars will someday drive themselves is nothing new. The tantalizing possibility has appeared in a number of science fiction films including The Minority Report in recent years.

That someday has arrived. The new Lexus HS 250 touts Lane Keep Assist technology. This feature reads the lines on the road, detects the car's position in the lane and helps to keep the HS from drifting out of the lane, even by steering itself back when necessary.

One must wonder how far off the day is when ours hands will be able to be taken fully off the wheel and the coordinates we've plugged into the console will take care of the driving for us. The rollout will be gradual and thoroughly tested for sure. But what might have been unthinkable in the world of commercial air-travel has already come to pass. Planes routinely take-off and land through automation, with the Pilot's involvement reduced to back-up in case of system failure. Our skies are much safer as a result. It takes no leap of the imagination to foresee how much safer our roads would be without human error.

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