In the near future, drivers might lose their jobs in the developed countries as Uber is preparing to build their own autonomous cars. Apart from the ride-hailing service provider, Google, Nissan, Audi, Mercedes and some others are already preparing for road tests. It may come as a surprise for you, but the idea of self-driving cars is not new and was first pitched by Kettering.

Charles F. Kettering laid the foundation of this very idea that cars can be intelligent, and coined the term “transportation pods.” In 1909, he established Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company, to advance its research in automotive technologies. He created an electric self-starter and installed it into a Cadillac on February 27, 1911. It was the first ever car to contain an automated component. This marked the beginning of our long journey toward autonomous future.

That invention forced developers to think what else could be modified in the long line of manual chain to replace it with an automated component. In 1940, power windows were introduced, which seemed a magical function at that time. In 1958, the cruise control was introduced in Chrysler Imperial, and then came the climate control system (1964), anti-lock brakes (1978), stability control (1995) and so on along the chronicles.

Recently, Audi’s autonomous car traveled from LS to Las Vegas to participate in Consumer Electronics Show without driver’s interference. Google and Nissan are envisaging to release production versions of their fully automated cars by 2020, but let’s see how the future turns up. What Kettering started has shaped up to bring us fully autonomous cars which have mind of their own and need no human interaction.


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