50 Years Ago

Self-driving cars are not a thing of the past

Excerpt from the July 4, 1964, issue of Science News Letter

By
11:00am, June 12, 2014

ON THE ROAD  Google gave everyone a look at a prototype of its first planned self-driving car in May.    

Automated Commuting — A way for commuters to have separate automobiles yet leave the driving to computers has been developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.... [Engineers] call the car a Commucar. It could be driven and parked anywhere on any road, but would also be suitable for use under automatic control on special, 60-mile-an-hour main arteries…. The Commucar would be a light, compact, electric auto that would have arms on each side. It could draw power through either arm from an electric siderail while it was on a Commucar throughway. It would also be steered and switched at junctions through these arm-siderail connections.

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