Google’s recent announcement that it would produce approximately 100 self-driving cars came as a surprise to the general public, but it’s hardly a new idea within the confines of the auto industry.
Enthusiasm for autonomous vehicles has grown in the past decade, as automakers and universities have teamed to create cars capable of steering, braking, accelerating, and navigating on their own. Starting in 2004, races sponsored the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) proved that a self-driven car was a viable concept, with five vehicles completing a rugged 132-mile course in the second race and six more finishing the third. Since that time, Google has logged more than 700,000 miles on its self-driving cars.
Here, we present a short history of autonomous cars. From student-designed buggies to self-driving production cars, we offer a glimpse at the future of the automobile.
Click on Chevrolet’s EN-V below to start the slideshow.
Could this be the future of the automobile? Jointly developed with Segway Inc., Chevrolet’s EN-V (Electric Networked-Vehicle) is a self-driven, electrically propelled concept car designed for urban environments. Chevy said the autonomous two-seat vehicle is designed to address environmental issues, traffic congestion, parking, safety, and energy consumption. It will reportedly be featured in a 2015 Disney film called Tomorrowland.