This is how we’re moving towards full automation in vehicles.
1876: Power steering is invented, but not commercially available. It first appears in trucks in 1926 and passenger cars in 1951
1904: First automatic transmission is invented
1931: A commercial version of the electric eye is invented and appears on Cadillacs in 1953 allowing it to automatically dip the headlights when it detected oncoming traffic
1948: Modern cruise control system is invented – early systems were even called “Auto pilot”
1964: James Bond creator Ian Fleming publishes the first instalment of his book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, about a car which could drive and fly by itself.
1977: The Tsukuba Mechanical Engineering Lab in Japan pioneers computerised autonomous cars
2004: The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) runs its first competition for autonomous cars, the Grand Challenge, in the Mojave Desert
2008: Google buys 510 Systems, a small US technology company who build a modified driverless Toyota Prius to deliver pizzas
2011: London’s Heathrow Airport introduces self-driving taxi ‘pods’
2012: The US State of Nevada issues the first licence for an autonomous car
2015: By now, the majority of major automobile manufacturers have announced vehicle autonomy technologies in various forms
2016: In an Australian first, RAC Intellibus™ is trialled, helping to prepare Western Australia for automated vehicle technology