This new field needs some new terms. In some cases, I have attempted to create
terms for some of the new types of vehicles I hypothesize we might see.
- Crash-avoiding car
A car with safety systems which impede or prevent the driver from getting into an
- Drive-by-wire (DBW)
Cars where all major systems are controlled by computer or electronics, and the
driver's controls (steering, brake, throttle) command the computer to control the
Human Driven Vehicle. In other words, all vehicles today.
An autonomous computer-driven passenger vehicle. You get in and say "Take me home" and it
does. Also called a self-driving car, driverless car or autonomous vehicle.
An early European project involving autonomous cars that run only on special roads.
A robocar which is available for hire. You summon it (probably via a cell phone) and it
arrives quickly to take you where you want to go.
A system (perhaps temporarily attached) that can control a drive-by-wire car so that
it can park itself in a parking lot.
A system for a drive-by-wire car which connects to a remote, tele-operator who sees
a camera feed and can control the car to park it or help it resolve a problem.
A robot vehicle that carries cargo, and not passengers. In larger forms
called a robotruck.
A vehicle able to bring itself to your location (with nobody inside) which you
then drive. Like the Lone Ranger's horse, you just "whistle" for it (on your
Cell phone) and it comes to you. This might arrive before the Robocar.
A shared robotaxi.
A special robot which can attach itself to a bicycle to deliver it to you for
- Sleeper Car
A robocar with beds rather than seats, designed primarily for sleeping while moving
An RV which can drive itself
- Drafting/Road Train
A capability for vehicles to space themselves more closely than human drivers can
safely accomplish to take advantage of the fuel efficiencies that come from
reducing wind resistance by drafting.
- Stuff locker
Standardized lockable boxes containing personal items that can easily be shifted
from car to car, can be extracted by robot, and which can be cheaply delivered to
you if not already nearby.
- DARPA Grand Challenge
A contest held by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop
Automatic Guided Vehicle Systems -- a technology already in use for mobile
factory floor robots, featuring many technologies usable in robocars.