May 10, 2012
By Ananda Boardman
Cars that can navigate streets, communicate with other cars and pay attention to roadway conditions — all without the need for a driver.
Once considered the stuff of science fiction, these cars are closer to becoming a reality and could have a role to play in making highways safer.
The 2013 Mercedes-Benz S Class will have an autonomous driving element that allows the driver to turn over the wheel in heavy traffic. Google, considered a leader in the field of autonomous cars, has logged more than 250,000 miles on its fleet of driverless vehicles.
The North Texas Tollway Authority recently heard about the latest research on connected and autonomous vehicles and their potential implications for the organization from Cade Jobe, an intern with its legal department.
Jobe, who will graduate from Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law on Saturday, spent four months researching the vehicles for a paper.
The technologically advanced cars would increase safety, efficiency and mobility while reducing environmental costs, he told NTTA’s Customer Service, Projects and Operations Committee on Thursday.
“My presentation was designed to get the ball rolling,” said Jobe, 24. “I think that the safety benefits are really what’s going to get most people behind this.”