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 ")

easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.

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.

 

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

Dubai Scorpion Police Hoverbike Ready To Pull Young Kirk Over
'Is there a problem, officer?'

HEXA Robotic Help For Plants
Then some unknown race had chanced upon the dreamers and decided to "help them out."

Korean Tesla Model S Video 'Excelsior' Is Indeed Our Motto
'Improving man by bringing him close to Nature, while they combine the sensations of coasting with the interest of seeing the country well...'

DIY Robot Shoots You In The Face
'...there were automatic guns that fired ligamine darts.'

A Bayesian Approach to Safe Imitation Learning For AIs and Robots
Um, how about that pension for the humans who serve as the models for robot behavior?

Qoobo Headless Robotic Therapy Cat Was Anne McCaffrey's Idea
'...used as surrogates in intense dependency cases.'

Autonomous Cars Talk To Each Other At MCity
'My cars talk to one another.'

PUFFER Robots - From Philip K DIck's Second Variety?
'Across the ground something small and metallic came, flashing in the dull sunlight of midday.'

Russian Space Garden
'We saw the gardens, flooded with artificial sunlight...'

Targeted Neuroplasticity Training For 'Downloading Skills'
'I know kung-fu.'

U of M's MCity To Feature Asimov's Automatobuses
Should you turn autonomous buses off?

Crazyflie Drone Swarm Technology
'...Programmed to hang in space in a hexagonal grid pattern.'

Our GodBot, Who Art In Cyberspace
Vaal hungers! We must serve him.

easyJet Short-Haul Electric Jets
Have a little faith, will you? They're working on it.

Meet Assist-e Honda's Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He had never ridden any motorized device that lacked onboard steering and balance systems...'

Kalashnikov's One-Seater Hovercraft
Not for windy days.

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.