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Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead

MIT Press,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Take a reportorial ride in the future: fully autonomous “intelligent” vehicles.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


According to roboticist Hod Lipson and tech writer Melba Kurman, people underestimate the progress of autonomous vehicle development. They often don’t see the accelerating improvements in computer processing speeds, data storage, sensor technologies and artificially intelligent algorithms that make vehicle autonomy possible. Many people mistakenly assume that “driver-assist” tech will morph into “driverless” – a fallacy that hinders carmakers and transportation authorities. Self-driving technology will save lives and help the environment, according to Lipson and Kurman’s report. The widespread “ripples” of the driverless revolution will alter human society and culture, bringing far more easy mobility, but posing new legal, ethical and economic challenges. Lipson and Kurman’s report offers insight anchored by academic rigor. getAbstract recommends their overview especially to investors, entrepreneurs, students, and tech developers and innovators, particularly in automotive industries.


Coming Soon to a Driveway Near You

A “driverless” revolution, galvanized by advances in deep-learning artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, will unfold by the mid-21st century. Increasingly, people will entrust their safety to autonomous machines with driving awareness and perception superior to their own. This disruptive shift will affect everyone. The benefits of saved lives, decongested cities, improved air quality, enhanced mobility and increased free time will contrast with the downsides of lost transportation jobs, privacy concerns and ethical issues. The advent of affordable cars brought the masses new personal freedom in work, leisure and living locations. The “brainless” car revolution continues, with one billion autos in active use on the planet today – 250 million in the US alone. Year-to-year, automotive accidents kill almost as many people – 1.2 million worldwide – as die from war, violent crime and drug abuse combined.

Adopting driverless vehicles – which are anticipated to be demonstrably “twice as safe” as human-driven cars – would save many lives. Traditional vehicles pollute the air and clog cities. In the near future, clean, safe personal...

About the Authors

Columbia University roboticist Hod Lipson researches machine creativity, replication and potential self-awareness. Writer Melba Kurman explores the impact and commercialization of disruptive technologies, including driverless cars and 3D printing.

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    M. d. 6 years ago
    Sounds like waiting to buy a new car is quite worth it. ;-)
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    M. G. 6 years ago
    Sounds perfect, however there are back draw

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