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Technology gives new meaning to the term “back seat driver”

The transition from stick-shift cars to those with automatic transmissions certainly made it easier for the driver, but new technology may one day eliminate the need for a driver, according to the Association of Mature American Citizens.

AMAC monitored new products at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and reports that Mercedes and Audi were the star attractions.  The two automakers each unveiled prototype self-driving vehicles.

Audi upstaged its competition when its concept car, which the company has nicknamed, Jack, arrived at the show fresh from a 550 mile road trip from Palo Alto, CA.  Reporters who hitched a ride in the “autonomous auto” agreed that the journey was remarkably uneventful.  They left the driving, at speeds up to 70 mph, to the car’s guidance system which included computers, radar units, cameras and an array of sensors.

Not to be outdone, Mercedes’ version of the driverless car of the not-so-distant future features fuel-cell technology and an interior cabin with seats that swivel to face each other when the vehicle is in control.

Both concept cars have manual override so that the person in the driver’s seat can take control when necessary, especially in high-traffic situations.

Don’t rush out to your local showrooms.  These cars won’t be available for a decade or so.