By: Allan M. Siegel
For a long time, Google has been spearheading the effort to develop driverless cars (also known as autonomous cars) – cars which, ultimately, will take you from one place to another, without requiring any input from the person sitting in the driver's seat. Ideally, the "driver" will only have to take over the controls in the event of an emergency.
Driverless cars hold out the promise of much safer travel by automobile: Because machines can sense objects on the road in all directions, and react faster than a human, we may be about to significantly reduce automobile collisions, which are a major cause of injuries in today's world.
But Google isn't the only company interested in developing driverless cars. Recently, German auto giant BMW has announced that it is planning to develop a line of driverless luxury cars. Of course, those cars probably won't be affordable to everyone. But BMW's announcement is good news in that an increasing number of automobile manufacturers believe that developing driverless cars is both possible and economically viable. Also, the more companies that are working on developing driverless cars, the sooner they'll be available for sale. Google is already testing driverless cars on city streets in California. And you may see driverless cars on the roads that you drive, sooner than you think.