The Current

Cars of the future may be so intelligent, there may not be much future for driving

Dreams for the car of the future may be coming true as the autonomous car that drives itself and keeps you from crashing moves into high gear. New electric cars, highly intelligent cars and even George Jetson cars -- the ones with the wings, are all in the works. But is the industry nimble enough to change?...
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Dreams for the car of the future may be coming true as the autonomous car that drives itself and keeps you from crashing moves into high gear. New electric cars, highly intelligent cars and even George Jetson cars -- the ones with the wings, are all in the works. But is the industry nimble enough to change?


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The Jetson family in their spaceship from the animated tv series, 'The Jetsons,' circa 1962. (Warner Bros/Getty Images)

If there's one image that comes to mind on hearing the Jetson's theme, it's George Jetson ferrying his animated family of the future around in a car --- that could fly! More than anything else, that image cemented the notion that the roadster of the future would not actually spend much time on the road.

The automotive industry itself didn't do much to ground the idea. Watch this 1948 commercial on the Davis 3-Wheeler:



Carl Dietrich feels we've all been wasting too much time on the ground. He's the founder and CEO of the Massachusetts- based company Terrafugia. Its tagline is "we make flying cars." Carl Dietrich was in Woburn, Massachusetts.

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Knight Rider" star David Hasselhoff points
to the back of his car, KITT. (AP/NBC)

While we may still be years away from slipping the surly bonds of earth to pick up the kids from school, there have been many astonishing advancements to the automobile.

Remember when KITT - the talking car from the TV show "Knight Rider" seemed an impossible dream in the 1980s?

Now, in 2014, we're quite accustomed to having our car tell us where to go with GPS features. But are we ready for cars that speak to each other? The U.S. department of transportation thinks so. Earlier this month Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced a proposal that would see all new cars equipped with Vehicle to Vehicle communication, or V-2-V by 2017... all in the name of making driving safer.

Transport Canada says it is monitoring the developments in the United States with respect to vehicle-to- vehicle communication, and is in touch with US counterparts. It says it will review the findings of a US safety pilot and will consider, if appropriate, similar regulatory action in Canada.




Have your future dream car you want to tell us about? What are your thoughts on this discussion?

We've opened the comments below. You can tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or e-mail us through our website. Find us on Facebook. Call us toll-free at 1 877 287 7366. And as always if you missed anything on The Current, grab a podcast.

This segment was produced by The Current's Dawna Dingwall.


A Reading of "If I Built A Car" by Chris Van Dusen


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For today's last word, the cars of the future will necessarily be captained by the drivers of the future. 7-year-old Nathan Goldhar-Killick is the son of one our producers.

Here he is reading from his favourite book, "If I Built A Car" by Chris Van Dusen:

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