To best understand the potential of self-driving cars and the impact they will have on our laws, society, and transportation system, it’s best to step back a bit, take a historical perspective, and examine the background of the technology –– while also taking the time to look into the status of autonomous vehicles as they currently exist.

The following articles and links help in providing context and backstory to the history of self-driving cars AND can assist in determining just where autonomous vehicle technology is headed.


“Crashed and Traffic Jams in Military Test of Robotic Vehicles”
New York Times –– November 5th, 2007

Archived Files Of The Very First Autonomous Vehicle Challenges, Research, and Results
DARPA Archives

“The DARPA Grand Challenge: Ten Years Later”
Perspective On The 10 Year Anniversary Of DARPA’s Autonomous Robotic Vehicle Challenge
DARPA –– March 13th, 2014

“To New Horizons”
General Motors –– Futurama 1939 New York World’s Fair
A promotional film produced by General Motors for the 1939 New York World’s Fair.  A detailed mention of “radio controlled cars” can be found at about the 14:30 mark in the video.

“Tesla’s Cars Now Drive Themselves, Kinda”
Wired Magazine –– October 15th, 2015


Hacker/builder/developer George Hotz made some lofty promises in 2016, especially when he announced that he’d have a “DIY semi-autonomous car kit” available on the market –– by the start of the new year –– for the low-low price of just $999.  And though he’s now stepped away from that promise (and is simply giving away his software and development kit), the fact remains that Mr. Hotz is a leading pioneer in the field of self-driving technology, and someone to keep an eye on.  Do follow him over on Twitter.  Do check out his website (link below).  And take the time to understand his world view, summed up by the statement: “Would much rather spend my life building amazing tech than dealing with regulators and lawyers.  It isn’t worth it.”

Chris Anderson, the author, editor, and founder of the company DIY Drones has a new project –– DIY RoboCars –– a technology site where software, hardware resources, and guidance is provided for those folks who want to “make and race DIY autonomous cars of any size.”

Tesla….  Enough said.

Love them or hate them, Uber is at the forefront of self-driving vehicle technology, and has been very open and upfront about their desire to get any and all humans drivers away from the steering wheels in their ride-share cars.

Waymo initially started out as Google’s “self-driving car project” –– a side project for the technology giant that’s now taken on a life of its own.  If you’ve spent any amount of time driving the streets, roads, and highways around California’s Bay Area, then likely encountered a Waymo vehicle being taken for a spin.


“Automated Driving: Legislative and Regulatory Action”
CIS: Stanford University Cyberlaw Wiki

“Self-Driving Cars Will Be Ready Before Our Laws Are”
IEEE SPECTRUM –– January 19th, 2016

“The Complete Timeline To Self-Driving Cars”
Recode –– May 16th, 2016

“The Road To Connected Autonomous Cars”
Gartner –– December 20th, 2016

Singularity University