Books  |    |  September 23, 2016

Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead

Book by Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman.
Published by MIT Press.
328 pages.

In the year 2014, Google fired a shot heard all the way to Detroit. Google’s newest driverless car had no steering wheel and no brakes. The message was clear: cars of the future will be born fully autonomous, with no human driver needed. In the coming decade, self-driving cars will hit the streets, rearranging established industries and reshaping cities, giving us new choices in where we live and how we work and play.

In this book, Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman offer readers insight into the risks and benefits of driverless cars and a lucid and engaging explanation of the enabling technology. Recent advances in software and robotics are toppling long-standing technological barriers that for decades have confined self-driving cars to the realm of fantasy. A new kind of artificial intelligence software called deep learning gives cars rapid and accurate visual perception. Human drivers can relax and take their eyes off the road.

When human drivers let intelligent software take the wheel, driverless cars will offer billions of people all over the world a safer, cleaner, and more convenient mode of transportation. Although the technology is nearly ready, car companies and policy makers may not be. The authors make a compelling case for why government, industry, and consumers need to work together to make the development of driverless cars our society’s next “Apollo moment.”

Table of Contents

  • The robotic chauffeur
  • A driverless world
  • The ultimate mobility device
  • A mind of its own
  • Creating artificial perception
  • First there were electronic highways
  • Smart cars first, not smart highways
  • Rise of the robots
  • Anatomy of a driverless car
  • Deep learning : the final piece of the puzzle
  • Fueled by data
  • The ripple effects

About the Authors

  • Hod Lipson is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Columbia University and an author of the award-winning book Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing.
  • Melba Kurman writes about disruptive technologies and is an author of the award-winning book Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing.