Route 19 north in Cranberry is crowded with three lanes of cars zooming during Tuesday’s lunch hour. A metallic gold 2011 Cadillac SRX with four passengers is on the clogged highway, smoothly traveling at the 45 mph speed limit. Suddenly, danger looms — a black Jeep slowly enters the roadway right in front of the Cadillac. The Cadillac quickly brakes without losing control, slows down and continues moving, avoiding crashing into the rear of the erratically driven Jeep.
Now that was a pretty nifty piece of driving — especially by a computer.
Yes, that’s right, the Cadillac was totally, completely driving itself (with onboard human monitoring, to be sure). It stopped at stop signs and red lights, safely entered traffic on cross streets, made turns (using turn signals, natch), changed lanes to pass cars, and slowed down and accelerated at appropriate times, all the while choosing the most efficient route to a pre-programmed destination.