Self-Driving Cars Will Be Waiting Next to You at Red Lights by 2017

By: Drew Bowling - July 4, 2012

If you think all the hubbub about Google’s fancy self-driving cars is just a fleeting novelty, Ford, it of the automobile industry, thinks you should check yourself before you wreck yourself.

According to ExtremeTech, Ford predicts that driverless cars will be a way of life in 2017. That’s only five years from now. If you think that seems somewhat quick for a culture to adopt a new technology, the iPhone just turned five years old earlier this week, and I’m sure it would’ve been difficult to anticipate just how pervasive that device would become to our culture back in 2007. So if it happened once, it could happen again, and why not have it happen with something awesome like driver-less cars?

Ford expects that smart car technology called Traffic Jam Assist will help reduce traffic by at least 37.5%. In other words, if you commute an hour on a freeway during rush hour, your commute would drop down to 38 minutes thanks to self-driving cars. Aside from giving you back some time on your life, Traffic Jam Assist can handle unforeseen events like a car cutting you off.

Take a look at the demo of Ford’s Traffic Jam Assist technology in the video below.

While the advent of self-driving cars isn’t exactly news – Google’s Sebastian Thrun was giving TED talks about driver-less technology all the way back in 2010 – this is a pretty exciting prediction from major automobile manufacturer.

So what will you do with your free time when you don’t have to worry about the bucketheads cutting you off in traffic? Start solving crossword puzzles? Knit? Talk on your phone (even though you already do that right now)?

About the Author

Drew BowlingDrew Bowling is a staff writer for WebProNews. He never met an all-you-can-eat buffet he didn't like. Twitter: @bentfortherent Google: +Drew Bowling

View all posts by Drew Bowling
  • Calgary Driving Education

    I think it’s a great thing. Maybe it the future we will be wondering how we ever let people drive their own cars!

    Calgary Driving Simulator

  • Elizabeth

    I’ve been waiting for my self driving car for many years, so I can wait five more years. :) One such car would be my first automotive purchase.

    As to what I would do to pass the time on long trips, there are many choices! I’d work, play games, catch up on my email and my G+ feed, draw/paint, plan the rest of the trip, check the weather and traffic…. and not have to try driving a car as I’m doing these things.

    Design is what I do, and I like being left to do my job. I like it when people who aren’t designers don’t try to do my job. So I don’t want to try to do the job of a car that should be driving itself.

  • Chris

    Actually I think Bill Ford said fully-autonomous cars will be available around 2025. By 2017 we will have the “Traffic Jam Assist” technology which is soley supposed to work in traffic-jams. I could be mistaken and hope this happens MUCH sooner than that. I know if not, GM and Google more than likely will be much quicker with this technology.

  • henry

    This technology has the capacity to cut auto energy consumption, increase highway capacity and possibly reduce overall car usage through more innovative car sharing.
    But while the technology is getting closer to being roadworthy, the question remains whether the world is ready for the fundamental changes that self-driving cars would bring. Read more about future cars.