Several companies have already demonstrated the potential of self-driving vehicles, which utilize collision detection technology and GPS systems to automatically drive without input from a human operator. This might sound like a very futuristic technology, but it will likely be available sometime this decade, according to General Motors.
Alan Taub, vice president of research and development at General Motors, says that he expects there to be "semi-automatic" self-driving vehicles by the middle of this decade, with the first fully-automatic, no-human-required cars by 2020, according to CNET. How is Taub so sure of this? Reportedly, GM is hard at work on a self-driving car of their own, the EN-V, with a target release date of 2020.
There are still hurdles to overcome. One of the most promising aspects of getting these cars to work will be technology that can be installed in every car and at important areas like intersections so that everything can essentially "talk" to each other and ensure things run smoothly. However, this would require everyone to adopt the latest cars, and cities to install the technology.
Now if they could come up with a vehicle that maintains itself, drivers could really not have to worry about their vehicles at all. In the meantime, be sure to take your regular old manually-operated car into a certified auto maintenance expert from time to time, as oil changes and tune-ups can help keep your car in working condition - at least until the self-driving ones are available.