The concept of self-driving vehicles has only recently gained traction, but the idea has been floating around in the car industry for almost a century. From Houdina’s radio-operated car to VaMP’s (almost) autonomous car, engineers have been working hard to implement driverless technology to various vehicle components. However, the whole idea kicked into fifth gear following DARPA’s Grand Challenge Driverless Car Competition of 2004. Soon after that, Google X decided to take it upon themselves to solve the self-driving problem. While Google’s driverless vision is an ambitious one (going as far as eliminating the steering wheel and brake/gas pedals), automobile manufacturers like Tesla, General Motors and Honda are taking a more progressive approach towards complete autonomy. Nevertheless, Google has put pressure on the automotive industry after announcing that their Self-Driving Car will be ready by 2020.
This timeline infographic spanning a century (from 1925 to 2021) outlines the history and future of driverless transportation. One thing is certain – it’s only a matter of time.