Cars come with a lot of bells and whistles nowadays, but they got nothing on what the global automobile industry at large is working on next: a car that drives itself. Indeed, the race is on for the automakers to build the first self-driving vehicle. Japanese carmaker Nissan, at an event Tuesday, said that it plans to put the first driverless car on the road by 2020. Not to be outdone, General Motors came out with its own timeline for a self-driving car.
Tech giant Google is said to also be working on its own version. As futuristic as they may sound, the technology to build self-driving cars is already available and according to experts, it's just a matter of fine-tuning and improving on what's out there. Driverless cars could mean a less angst-ridden commute for drivers and could reduce road congestion. But then again, they could make drivers even more distracted than now.
How do self-driving cars work? What road rules need to be in place before the arrival of these cars? Would you buy a self-driving car? Is the public ready for them?
Amir Efrati, a technology reporter in San Francisco
Bernard Soriano, deputy director of the California Department of Motor Vehicles and the head of the agency's self-driving car project