The world had over 64 million kilometers of roads in 2013, according to the CIA. On these roads, we still see some ancient forms of transportation — horses in parts of the US, camels in Saudi Arabia, and elephants in India — but the vast majority of movement of people and goods comes from motorized vehicles.

A man or a woman sits behind a steering wheel and directs a car, a motorcycle, a truck or a tractor along the many kilometers of road. However, if you believe the futurists in Silicon Valley, Detroit, Tokyo and Riyadh, that may all be changing soon.

Autonomous cars are the hot topic. Also known as self-driving cars or driverless cars, the invention promises a whole new world of transportation.

With autonomous vehicles, we would be able to send emails, read or put on make-up when we commute to work in the morning. Products would ideally be cheaper because they would be shipped without truck drivers.

And the biggest promise of all is that driving would be safer, because — at least according to the futurists — autonomous vehicles would eliminate the 95 percent of road accidents caused by human error (also known as bad driving).  Autonomous cars are not quite there yet, and we do not know if they ever will be. Read more from…

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