Self-driving Cars in Fiction

Self-driving cars are the future of our transportation but the concept is not a new one. People have been toying with the idea of autonomous cars for a very long time. This article shows you all the fictional self-driving cars in our recent history. It will be interesting to see how close the cars from the science fiction of yesterday come to the autonomous vehicles in production today.

Similar to the classification on autonomous cars, many different types of concepts have come up in our fiction. Some cars have been completely autonomous, while others have just offered some much-needed support to their drivers. A few of them even came complete with personalities of their own and were able to make decisions and give advice based on information their sensors were picking up.

Here is a list of autonomous vehicles that have shown up in our literature, film, and TV.

Autonomous Vehicles in Film

  • Herbie was a car that had its own personality. While it did not derive its autonomy from technology, the idea that the car could do what whatever it wanted, whenever it wanted to do it was an incredible thing to imagine at the time of production.
  • Christine, the main character of one of Stephen King’s famous stories and car with its own agenda was able to function completely on its own.
  • You definitely cannot have a list of autonomous cars in films without mentioning the Batmobile. This famous car was able to find its way to the superhero all on its own which made people really wonder what other tricks the car was hiding under the hood.
  • The 90’s saw several different approaches of autonomy in science-fiction films. The movies Total Recall, Demolition Man, Timecop, and The 6th Day all had self-driving cars. Some were everyday cars and others were more impressive, but one thing they had in common was that they were able to drive themselves.Finally, while not the last autonomous vehicle to show up in film over the years the cars in I Robot were incredible. They were everyday cars that were able to communicate with the driver when certain infractions occurred. For example, if a driver took the car over a speed limit, the car had its own ideas as to whether or not that should take place. In our opinion, the cars in this movie are quite similar to real-life technologies in development.

Autonomous Vehicles in TV

While there have been several autonomous cars in previous TV shows one stands out above the rest. KITT from Knight Rider did it all. Not only was KITT self-aware and always questioning his own existence, he also had complete control of the operations of the vehicle.

If you are not familiar, KITT and his driver were a crime-fighting unit, which meant that the car had a few weapons systems and defence tactics. KITT was able to choose which of these to use under different situations as well as drive “himself” to wherever “he” wanted to go. As you can see, those who created these movies had insight on what would someday be possible.