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Cars > Toicontien’s Garage > Blog > General Motors: Driverless Cars to be in Showrooms by 2018


General Motors: Driverless Cars to be in Showrooms by 2018

By Toicontien

A Lexus can park itself, but that's not enough. GM wants the car to drive itself completely. A recent AP article said GM will have driverless cars for sale by 2018.

DETROIT (AP) — Cars that drive themselves — even parking at their destination — could be ready for sale within a decade, General Motors Corp. executives say.

GM, parts suppliers, university engineers and other automakers all are working on vehicles that could revolutionize short- and long-distance travel. And Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas GM Chief Executive Rick Wagoner will devote part of his speech to the driverless vehicles.

(Google News)

Yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show had more than a speech:

The driverless Tahoe drew a number of national camera crews to the chilly lot outside the CES on Tuesday. They filmed as the SUV navigated a course of traffic cones -- and a four-way stop with a Hummer -- with nobody behind the wheel.

(Detroit News)

This brings a boat-load of questions to mind. Do I want to wrest control of my vehicle over to a computer? Can I trust other non computer controlled vehicles (i.e. human controlled) not to hit mine? Who would be responsible for injuries and damages resulting from a computer controlled car crashing? Would this create a renaissance for Happy Hour at the local bar, since you can drive to the bar after work, get sauced, and have the car drive you back home? ... or would this make New Years driving much safer?

And here's the kicker: If you do (stupidly) get behind the wheel when intoxicated and put the auto-pilot on, are you a passenger or driver? Can you be pulled over for drunk driving? If you are asleep at the wheel and the auto pilot is on, are you a danger to other motorists? How much manual override would you as a human have?

Car: I'm afraid I can't do that, Dave.

Driver (puzzled): Who is Dave?

How will the Teamsters like this new technology, because after all, would companies need humans to drive big rigs anymore? Fair thee well, sweet Bandit and Snowman.

Oh! And what about this? If someone steals your car, would it drive them straight to jail? Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200. Could you program destinations into the computer to prevent your adventurous teenager from NOT going to the library to study? How much control would the government physically have over your car. If Uncle Sam thinks you're a terrorist, would it drive straight to Miami and load you on a ship bound for Guantanamo? Though seriously, if you were considered a threat to society, does the government have the right to lock you in your car until authorities arrive? Obviously GPS will be used for keeping the vehicle on course, so would anyone store this information on where you've been and where you are going, and what can the government, businesses and other people legally do with this information?

Geez, and my list of questions goes on. All I've got right now are questions. What do all of you think? Post your thoughts on driverless cars and trucks, and their legal, social and economic ramifications.

(photo courtesy

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Read comments on this blog post 1 – 8 of 8

motortopia’s Profile Photo
Jan 10, 2008 at 4:33 am
I think the Army would be interested in stuff like this.
racerx23’s Profile Photo
Jan 9, 2008 at 9:18 pm
I buy my cars to drive the crap out of them,then I fix them,if my future piece of junk will drive itself then it had better be able to fix itself !!!
Toicontien’s Profile Photo
Jan 9, 2008 at 1:27 pm
I didn't think of that! NOT being able to break the speed limit!!? That's two inches shy of blasphemy. They should build in a setting so you can at least drive 5 MPH above the speed limit. But that's just the Lead Foot in me coming through.
Toicontien’s Profile Photo
Jan 9, 2008 at 11:06 am
I think it would be OK if you could stay awake and keep an eye on everything. Then U could do other things on a long trip, ant ideas?

biggrin image

Give me a moment to clear my mind...


Ok. I'm back. smile image Just imagine your average business person road warrior. You could turn on your laptop on your way to work, or the airport, or to a meeting, and do WORK! AAAH! That would drive me insane (pun intended). All though it would be handy for parents who need to slap their kids for misbehaving in the back seat. No more knee slaps for this guy. If my mom had auto pilot on our station wagon, I would have been getting full bore smacks on my cheek. Spankings even!
orange82’s Profile Photo
Jan 9, 2008 at 10:54 am
I think it would be OK if you could stay awake and keep an eye on everything. Then U could do other things on a long trip, ant ideas? kiss image hug image
Toicontien’s Profile Photo
Jan 9, 2008 at 9:34 am
I can see it now! smile image


Car: ...

B_body_debauchery69’s Profile Photo
Jan 9, 2008 at 9:30 am
No Way! those things have no sense to determin if something is right or wrong, what if a deer crosses your path, nope, not for me
corsa’s Profile Photo
Jan 9, 2008 at 9:05 am
I, for one, welcome our driverless car overlords. smile image

Well, not really. I definitely want control of my vehicle, I know how buggy software can be and I don't want that controlling 6000 pound SUVs at 80 mph.

Oh, kind of related to this, on Top Gear earlier this season, Clarkson tried out a BMW 330i that BMW had equipped in a similar fashion, that would drive itself. Except, instead of just driving around a parking lot, this BMW drove flat out around a race track. It was pretty cool.

Here's the link to that video:


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Cars > Toicontien’s Garage > Blog > General Motors: Driverless Cars to be in Showrooms by 2018

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