Posts from ‘Autonomous Cars’

May
01
GM Key to the Future video

In the 1956 short film “Key to the Future,” General Motors predicted a hands-free driving system not unlike the Cadillac Super Cruise option due for 2018.

The 2018 Cadillac CT6 is slated to offer Super Cruise–General Motors’ first true hands-free driving technology–when the car goes on sale this fall. That’s great, but we think GM had autonomous driving nailed more than 60 years ago. Well, maybe not nailed, but the company certainly had a good handle on what hands-free driving might look like one day. In the promotional film “Key to the Future,” GM explores the possibility of hands-free driving from the perspective of a family of vacationers. The film was first seen in 1956 as part of GM’s annual touring Motorama exhibition.

Jan
19
Waymo Pacifica

Google’s “Waymo” autonomous-vehicle initiative includes evaluation of 100 specially equipped Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

As seen in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the Kobayashi Maru is a Star Fleet Academy training exercise designed to test the character of cadets. The Maru simulation forces cadets to choose between ignoring a dire request for assistance by a stranded ship (the Kobayashi Maru), or staging a rescue of the ship–despite strong indicators that the distress call is a trap set by an enemy.

Dec
04
Last real cars

We may be sun-setting the driver-involvement era, but Tom is reasonably OK with that.

The evidence has been piling up for a while now, but the verdict is unavoidable: The traditional automobile is all but dead.

There are a couple of paths we can take to reach this conclusion, and a couple of different definitions of “dead” that we can employ, but there’s one particular path and one outcome that I am most saddened by.

Apr
23
David Hasselhoff and KITT in “Knight Rider”

David Hasselhoff and KITT in “Knight Rider”

Where have you gone, David Hasselhoff? Detroit turns its lonely (electronic) eyes to you.

Cadillac is road-testing a system designed to automatically steer, brake, and keep a car centered in a lane. In other words, drive itself. General Motors’ luxury-car division calls this system “Super Cruise” and says it could find its way to showrooms by the middle of this decade.

We’re not making this stuff up. But somebody did. In the Eighties. For a television show. They called it KITT.

Apr
20

Earlier this morning, GM released a video of its “self-driving” car. In the video, Cadillac demonstrates “semi-autonomous” technology that it calls “Super Cruise.” A car equipped with this technology is capable of fully automatic steering, braking, and lane-centering in highway driving under certain optimal conditions. GM states that the system could be ready for production vehicles by the mid-2010s.

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