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 ")

World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
I'd rather just call one to my front yard, please.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is almost here!

Is Teleportation A Death Sentence?
'A long trail of dead, he thought, left across the stars...' - Clifford Simak, 1963.

 

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

Jaguar I-Pace Audible Vehicle Alert System For EVs
'Of course not a vehicle moved by means of internal explosions of a derivative of rock oil...'

Autonomous 'Fiberbots' Weave Large Structures
'It extrudes material like a spider.'

Birds Aren't Real - Wake Up, California! (With Bird Watching Guide)
'When he had first built them, they had been crude indeed, flying mechanisms with little more than a reflex-response unit.'

Self-Healing Material Pulls Carbon Out Of The Air
'... could seal the punctures.'

IRL Glasses Block Screens, Limit Vision To Real Life
'If you couldn't see the ads, how would you know what was fashionable?'

Testing The Single-Person Spacecraft
'...the lower part of the suit was simply a rigid cylinder.'

Shapeshifting Materials Transform By Light
'Its lines wavered, flowed, and then painfully reformed.'

Fully Automated Farm Iron Ox Hydroponics
'Had these machines in some incredible fashion been provided with brains?'

BrainNet Social Network Of Brains
'I used my implant to tell MILLIE what we wanted and she took care of it'

Phil Nuyttnn's City Under The Sea
'Under the lower roof there was no water, but a clear and luminous atmosphere...'

IONITY Opens First 10 Fast-Charging Stations
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

Superstrong Multilayer Metal-Graphene Composite Material
Negligible increase in weight increased material strength by hundreds of times.

Deepfakes Imperil Democracy (George Orwell, Right Again)
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.

Still Wondering If You'd Work For A Robot Boss?
'This is all coming to you courtesy of the simstim unit wired into your deck, of course.'

World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?

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.