Driverless car technology may soon be a reality

Global Business

Driverless car testing has been under way in California for several years, without government regulation. Now the state allows testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads with a special permit. CCTV America’s YaKenda McGahee reports on the race to get this technology on the road.


The bumper-to-bumper daily grind in congested cities like Los Angeles, evokes a universal emotion: frustration. It’s enough to make you wish for a day when your car could drive itself. The things one could do if only the car could do the driving: Read, eat, surf-the-web and sleep.

But driverless cars may be navigating the roads by the turn-of-the-decade some automakers predict. Audi was the first company to apply for the California’s new ‘autonomous testing permit‘. The state has also issued permits to Google, which wants to test 25 adapted Lexus sport utility vehicles and to Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz.

While self-driving vehicles are still years down the road, new advances in driver-assisted technology in the newest model cars may be proof that vehicles are quickly speeding in our direction.

As Ford introduces the newest model the Mustang globally, for the first time ever in more than 120 countries, it’s hard to ignore the hi-tech features which help a driver.

Joseph Hinrichs, executive vice president of Ford Motor Company of the Americas said: “The sensor technology is a key component to that day when we can have a vehicle drive itself.”

Ford released its own self-driving research car late last year. At the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, Swedish automaker Volvo will also unveil its own autonomous vehicle.

These innovations are a far cry from early autonomous vehicles, such as the Carnegie Melon University prototype which won a 2007 self-driving car race through urban streets. It’s quite possible that in just seven more years driverless cars will be burning gas on congested roadways.

CCTV America is joined by KPMG’s U.S automotive analyst, Gary Silberg, to talk about the skepticism and the possibilities of the technology.