By Corey Switzer-Kruss
Whenever I’m having a blogging brain freeze I know I can turn to Popular Science (www.popsci.com) for a good tech story!
Today’s little tidbit of information reminds me of movies like Back to the Future II where Michael J. Foxx and Christopher Llyod travel through time in their souped-up Delorean DMC-12 to the year 2015 only to find that the future was filled with hover-craft skateboards.
Back in 1990 we really hoped that hoverboards were in our future, but in 2012 (a mere 3 years from the future of 2015) we know it’s just not gonna happen.
Why the anecdote?
Here’s why; whenever I think of the future I dream of cars that drive themselves. You just plug your destination into a GPS and press “GO”. The car’s internal computer can access speed limits and accelerate/decelerate accordingly, there are sensors that will brake the car in traffic, and you can kick back with a beer (b/c you’re not driving!!) and enjoy the ride. THIS is my perfect future (haha).
So when I read the article entitled Europe Will Require New Vehicles to Include Autonomous Self-Braking System I leapt out of my seat! Is one of my “back to the future” dreams being realized?!
Now, not everyone is as psyched as I am about this new technology. As a matter of fact, people feel that it’s taking too much control away from the driver. I personally think it’s an experiment that will either epically fail (if the technology is forced into these cars before all the kinks are worked out, this is certain to happen) or usher in a new age of automotive awesomeness and safety on the roads. Remember when cars were only manufactured with a manual transmission? I don’t; too young. BUT, today cars are only manufactured with a manual tranny by request. I believe the natural evolution of vehicles has ultimately been leading to this space-aged point. Perhaps in 40 years we won’t even need Driver’s Licenses because we will all be passengers in our own cars.
According to the European Commission, this AEB (autonomous emergency braking) system will begin with installation in all brand new commercial vehicles by 2013. It’s expected that passenger vehicles will follow suit shortly thereafter. Oh Europe – you’re so hip. Can you please start commissioning your engineers to design a hoverboard next?
By Corey Switzer-Kruss