Driverless Car Built in the 1970s Predicted the Rise of Autonomous Rides

Nowadays, the world is full of all sorts of cars that have various amounts of autonomous tech on them. From Adaptive Cruise Control to lane keeping assistants and even self-driving cars, everything is leading to an eventual driverless model altogether.
Driverless car in the 1970s 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Google is seemingly the furthest ahead in terms of development and rumors had it that this month we were supposed to see their first autonomous car in full and check it out on the road. So far, that didn’t happen but there are still a couple of days left. Who knows, maybe Google will surprise us after all.

We’re also hoping that the video below, shot in the 70s will give them a spring in their step and get that thing done. Don’t get me wrong, I find autonomous cars to be the doom of the industry as we know it, but I’m still curious.

As for the car in the video below, it used robotics to drive the car around and a huge sensor reader up front, mounted on the front bumper, to read signs on the road. Basically, it read electronic impulses relayed to it through that huge box you see up front.

What it did was read the strips of metal on the road and follow them through. Of course, steering and braking were done using contraptions that were in tune with the times and the technology available back then.

Even so, it’s rather impressive that this could be done. Not only that but the predictions mentioned in the video that we’d be having this kind of tech 30 years later (that’s the early 2000s) weren’t all that far off.

The difference is that nowadays, the cars use cameras and lasers to read road signs, and you don’t need to leave a breadcrumb trail to make them work. Well, I guess 40 years of progress did amount to something in the end...

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