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Something to think about... / blog
The Car that Drives Itself, in 2040

Written by on July 15, 2009

Driverless cars are nothing new. We have seen them in countless of movies. A lot of people, and companies are trying to make one, including the US military. But so far the technology has not been able to make it possible.

But the driverless car is interesting because of several things.

  • It will never crash (in theory), which is going to be great news for the 40,000+ people who die in car crashes each year. And that is in the US alone.
  • Because it never crashes you can make much better use of the interior. Today every seat, and every function is focused on you looking out of the front window while driving.
  • It will be far more economical and give you a smoother ride.
  • The many problems with congestions and traffic jams will be a thing of the past, because driverless cars are not subject to human reactions. As seen in this video.
  • It can park itself, and pick you up later.
  • It can introduce a completely new form of transport. (Hey, I will just send my car to pick up the package)

And that is just some of the things that the car can do. Imagine what you can do as a person, if you don't have to focus on the driving part. It's like taking the train without all the annoying things about public transport.


Mike and Maaike recently introduce their concept for a driverless car called ATNMBL.

"ATNMBL is short for Autonomobile, a title that merges Autonomy with the Automobile. Upon entering ATNMBL, you are presented with a simple question: "Where can I take you?" There is no steering wheel, brake pedal or driver's seat. ATNMBL drives for you. Electric powered plus solar assist, with wrap-around seating for seven, ATNMBL offers living and/or working comfort, views, conversations, entertainment, and social connectedness."

There is a lot of very interesting things about this car. It's fully designed to be driverless. It's not this kind of mixed design we have seen in the past. It's shorter than most cars today, but its interior is fully focus on you and the space within. It has electric motors in each wheel, and the power is stored beneath the floor.

But the most interesting idea is the about speed. Today we want a car that can go fast. But is that really what we need? Maybe it is not about how fast we can go, but about how fast we can get to our destination. Could a car with less power get us there quicker because it is better at anticipating the flow of traffic?

Of course, I do not actually think that we will give up the idea of driving completely. But the ideas and concepts of the driverless car are certainly exciting, and I see a lot of future possibilities as a result.

(Read more about it over at: Mike and Maaike)

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.


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