The first cars were horseless carriages and inherited the design features of carriages. Here are some of the features.
We can expect the first computer controlled cars to be like present cars in their internal layout. There will be a driver's position on the left front with a full set of manual controls including a steering wheel right in front of the driver. It will be boring and constraining sitting there.
After riders, manufacturers and Government regulators become more confident of the computer control, the steering wheel will be replaced by something much smaller and less intrusive.
The main changes will come from the driver wanting to do something else with his time. He will sit farther back with a display in front of him that can be used for reading, any kind of work done with computer terminals, watching TV and doing whatever else the infotainment industry can persuade us to pay big bucks for.
There will be a large premium on making the ride smoother so that the motion of the car won't interfere with the work and play of the occupants.
There will continue to be as much single occupant travel as today, and there will be advantages in having the car capable of re-arranging the interior to give a single occupant more space to work, play, eat or rest.
Therefore, contrary to the wishes of the energy priests, cars are likely to become larger, not smaller. Some of the present disadvantages of large vehicles will be eased by the ability of a computer controlled car to go off and park itself until summoned.
The NAVLAB automated car project at Carnegie-Mellon University has the same ultimate goals but but is still in a stage amounting to an improved cruise control.
at Carnegie-Mellon University has the same ultimate goals but is still in a stage amounting to an improved cruise control.
/@sail.stanford.edu:/u/ftp/jmc/progress/cars.tex: begun 1995 Jul 27, latexed
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