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

    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)?