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A Route 66 of the Future: Driverless Cars

18 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 21 May 2013

In the second part of A Route 66 of the Future, Gareth Mitchell investigates our desire to switch to auto-pilot. Letting the vehicle take all of the strain might be an ideal of the future. Through clever computing, the fully automated vehicle takes over responsibility for getting the driver to his or her destination. But are driverless vehicles just a pipe dream? Although there have been several experiments in driverless cars, notably Google’s vehicles (several states in the US have allowed for testing of the cars on their public roads) will it ever be realistic or desirable for us to surrender the controls to the car or any other mechanised means of transport? Who will assume responsibility during a crash?

And in a world where satnavs become ubiquitous will we ever get lost again? Is it desirable to always know where you’re going and how to get there?

(Image: A bicyclist rides by a Google self-driving car at the Google headquarters. Credit: Getty Images)


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