European ‘Road Train’ Cars Drive Themselves While You Sleep (PICTURES)

Imagine you’re driving down the highway, when you pass a column of cars cruising in tandem. You notice with awe that the steering wheel in each car moves autonomously while the drivers eat, read and get ready for work–some drivers even appe…

Imagine you’re driving down the highway, when you pass a column of cars cruising in tandem. You notice with awe that the steering wheel in each car moves autonomously while the drivers eat, read and get ready for work–some drivers even appear to be sleeping! If this sounds too good to be true, you’re in for another shock: you’ve just received a sneak peek at 2021.

Testing of this so-called “road train” system is already underway in Europe, where the European Commission-backed Safe Road Trains for the Environment (SARTRE) program has partnered with companies like Volvo Car Corporation to develop technology that will make driving safer, easier and more efficient.

A “road train” describes a line of cars, each outfitted with advanced steering and sensory technology, that follow behind a leader vehicle, which guides the cars as they travel along a preprogrammed route. Each car in the “train” communicates with the leader via Wi-Fi, thus requiring little to no input from their individual drivers, who are free to take their eyes off the road and engage in other activities behind the wheel.

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