Autonomous Autos: “Knight Rider” Is No Longer Fiction

Posted on May 25, 2011 by LCT Magazine

DO WHAT THEY WANT? Thanks to the wonderful technology of today, businesses can automate processes to become more efficient and cut costs, which is particularly vital in the current economic climate. Just a short a while ago, the level of artificial intelligence and interactivity with these options would have been thought of as unrealistic, ideas that are best left for science fiction films. Everything from dispatch to vehicle monitoring to chauffeur check-in to reservations can now be controlled by a computer. But technology only goes so far, right? There are certain things that a computer can never do, like drive a car, right?
Apparently, the folks at Google have been watching too many re-runs of Knight Rider and thought it would be cool to make their own AUTOMATED, SELF-DRIVING CARS. Yep, you read that correctly. Google has been testing out a secret fleet of automated Toyota Priuses (I’m aware that Toyota wants us to call them Prii, but I simply don’t care) and one Audi TT that have logged approximately 140,000 miles thus far by driving themselves up and down California.
The automated cars use roof-mounted video cameras, radar sensors, and a laser range finder to locate everything around them, and combine it with knowledge of Google’s map system to navigate. Since personalized and friendly service is the hallmark of chauffeured transportation, it doesn’t seem likely that these robot cars will replace chauffeurs. Besides, the thought of being driven around in a driver-less car, no matter how intelligent the computer is, creeps me out, and I think clients would lack that comfort-and-safety factor that comes with having a responsible, knowledgeable, and safe driver behind the wheel of their ride. Entire fleets of robotic cars picking people up and driving them around seems ludicrous, like some crazy science fiction. But then again, so do unmanned predator drones and paper-thin, wireless, touchscreen computers.
-- Michael Campos, LCT assistant editor
View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More LCT Blog Blog Posts

October 1, 2012

Event Management

Don't let your guests down. Here are some things to think about before the event starts.

September 26, 2012

October LCT Mag Focuses On Customer Service

ISSUE PREVIEW: What does he think? What did she really say? Are you channeling your customers? In the October 2012 issue of LCT Magazine, you’ll get a complete primer on how to read and please your
September 26, 2012

Driverless Cars Legalized In California

With no need for people to operate vehicles, how can limo companies adapt to the new world of transportation?
September 26, 2012

Manners Still Matter On Social Media

It has never before been easier for businesses to share information, insight and intimacy with consumers; it has also never been easier to offend them. Read more to learn how to avoid a social media faux pas.
September 20, 2012

My First Encounter With The 2013 Lincoln MKT Town Car

On my trip to Chicago last week for the 2012 BusCon Expo, I had the pleasure of experiencing a new ride — the 2013 MKT Town Car.
See More

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment



See More

See More

See More

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - January 2017 $12.95 THE MONEY ISSUE COVER STORY: * Dashboard Helps Steer Company Finances * *


Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment


Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close