Is a Driverless Car in GM’s Future?

By Brendan Moore

01.07.2008

There is an interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal by one of their auto writers, John Stoll. The article, titled, Could GM’s Salvation Be Stuff of Science Fiction?, is about GM’s efforts to build and bring to market a car that drives itself. I personally do not wish to own such a car, but I am fascinated by the technology required to make it work and the premise that it could be done. But, after that initial fascination, to me it’s rather like discovering a dog that plays the piano – amazing; yes, but does it fill a need?

Regardless, Mr. Stoll did a very good job with the subject, and we recognize talent when we see it, the piece does not require the usual subscription to read it and therefore we will just take you to the story here.

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Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

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4 Comments

  1. I wouldn’t mind having my car be able to make my commute every day. That drive is slow and boring and it would be great if I could just read the paper while my car follows a pre-assigned route.

  2. I think that this will be a realty soon as 50,000 people die every year in auto accidents and 95% of those could be avoided. Note that 50% of those fatalities are Drug related.

  3. I must say I like the new GM’s attitude.. its aggression of implementing radical technologies. Even just its optimism that these things are doable is impressive.

    The company had to be driven basically to the edge of bankruptcy to get rid of the old naysayers though and bring in the people with bold vision. I’d say for people 99% I see in North America are naysayers and whiners when it comes to game changing technology. But those people get blown out of the water if a competitor is pro-technology and goes for it.

    -aa2

  4. Some other advantages of driverless cars are also picking up and dropping off kids who are not old enough to drive themselves. And also for elderly people who either can no longer drive, or are not comfortable driving.

    A safety feature would also be that the computer could take over if you were about to slam into another vehicle or off the side of the road. For example if fell asleep it could navigate the vehicle to a safe spot at the side of the road. -aa2

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