Heinlein Controlways Predicted By Kiwi Profs

In his wonderful 1941 story Methuselah's Children, Robert Heinlein made every weary driver's fantasy come true.

The car slid up the ramp, waited until the traffic control signaled a predicted break in traffic, then joined the high-speed northbound stream. Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...

She woke just before the signal from the car which would have called her... She signaled the traffic control ahead; it cut her out of the stream of vehicles and reduced the speed of her car, then rang the alarm which notified her to resume local control.
(Read more about Heinlein's controlway - an automated road)

New Zealand professors John Tiffin and Chris Kissling have argued that this sort of future is now attainable - and not too far off. In their book Transport Communications, to be published in November of this year, they set out a program by which roadways and other forms of transportation can be integrated and automated.

"Putting intelligence into roads so they drive cars rather than the other way round is perfectly feasible and is one of the most immediate possibilities the book suggests."

The speed at which cars travel and the flow of traffic would be controlled by a central system in the same way an air traffic control center manages aircraft.

"It is not a giant step because artificial intelligence is gradually taking over in transport and it makes sense to have one system rather than relying on all the different drivers," Professor Tiffin said.

"Planes already travel on autopilot and cars have lots of computers which tell the driver to slow down, buckle up or change the oil."

I just ran across a very early reference to the idea that a car could talk to a driver and provide important information; see the entry on the talking speedometer from 1941 short story by Theodore Sturgeon.

Via New Zealand Herald.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 8/28/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Transportation ")

Hyperloop One Video Shows It Works!
'Complete evacuation of the interior of the tubes [and] a wave that provides the new propulsive energy for the cars...' Hard Vincent, 1929.

Flexup Tire Design Good For Tumblebugs
'Each spoke telescopes into five sections.'- Neal Stephenson, 1992.

Musk Tunnels Wisely Restrict Drivers
Too many robots.

Amazing Tesla Autopilot Video
'As the beautiful old car cruised in almost perfect silence under the guidance of its automatic controls...' - Arthur C. Clarke, 1976.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

MULTI Model Of Star Trek Turbolift
Cool prototype video!

A Look Into The Future Of Spacecraft!
Ever wonder how you look when you enter a new part of a spacecraft?

An 'Ethical Black Box' For Robots?
Explored by science fiction authors.

Dadbot Digital Immortality
'A hardwired ROM cassette replicating a dead man's skills...'

Should We Permit Computers To Create Their Own Language?
'Talk Between Robots radio...'

Breakthrough Starshot Sprites Yearn For Alpha Centauri
'Whoever launched it fired a laser cannon...'

Kino Project Roaming Personal Fashion Robots
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...'

Astronaut Exercise Video, Predicted By SF Writers
'Joe got out the gravity-simulator harnesses.'

First Crewless Ship? Umm
Autonomous Spaceport Drone Ship?

RFID Chipped Employees Of Three Square Market
'About a third of the people in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip...'

JAXA's Int-Ball Drone To Follow Astronauts In Space Station
'I want you to build me some of those.'

Amazon Patents Annoying Robot That Follows You
'The... machine, being homotropic, headed toward them, still bleating...'

Hand Gestures And Body Poses Control Devices
'He waved his hand... the circuit switched...'

Rovable Robots Crawl Across Your Body
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...'

Sansar Social Virtual Reality Platform In 2017?
'And just as a daydreamer forgets his actual surroundings, and sees other realities...'

Cellphone Harvests Power From Ambient Radio Signals And Light
A battery-free phone.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.