March 20th, 2012
04:46 AM GMT
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Berlin (CNN) – A new vehicle has found its way onto Berlin’s street: a car that does not demand a driver.

Developed by Dr. Raul Rojas and his team at Berlin’s Freie University, this computer-controlled car is equipped with sophisticated lasers, radar, video cameras and a sensitive GPS system.

"What we think is that this can be the car of the future in the sense that you don't need to drive,” said Rojas. “It would be like a taxi. You don't even need to own a car, you don't have to park the car, you don't need a garage at home."

His idea is to “unclog the streets” in Berlin, which are always fully parked, stagnant and congested.

"They [parked cars] are not driving, they are not moving,” said Rojas. “You can move the complete city of Berlin combining public transportation with AutoNOMOS taxis [driverless cars], using just 10% of the cars we have now.

“That means if you remove 90% of the cars from the street, then the streets become wider and you go faster to where you're going so it's more comfortable, it takes less time, it's cheaper. That's why we think it's the way of the future."

After years of persuasion, Berlin’s authorities finally deemed Roja’s innovation as safe and allowed the driverless cars to be out in the public. However, permission is granted under two conditions: safety drivers behind the steering wheels regardless and insurance.

“We are insured for 100 million euros" said Rojas.

CNN’s Richard Quest puts its safety to the test as he goes for a test drive in the driver-less car.

Filed under: Future Cities

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. dr A Kruger

    IF driverless cars can reduce the traffic to 10%, then the SAME number of taxis (with drivers) should do the same. Why not try that first?

    March 20, 2012 at 5:18 am |
  2. JohnD

    Definitely could use driverless cars here in Italy. It would help keep the psychopaphic road hogs off the roads and all the other idiots who drive and use their cell phones at the same time.

    March 20, 2012 at 9:04 am |
  3. maher

    this was expected to be done. but will not fulfill the driving passion and the possion for specific car...yet not to reduce trafic to 10% but to help the hadicaps and non lovers for dirving.

    March 20, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  4. otavio

    it would be very helpful here in Bogota, specially for the public busses, in order to enhace the conmuting experience reducing citizens stress levels

    March 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  5. Mike Mooshine

    Well, instead of going for the car-less society we now go for society-less cars.

    March 21, 2012 at 6:48 am |
  6. mudhil

    this is the next generation we need to reduce the accidents on our roads but can it work in Africa where roads and traffic rarely function with efficiency or the unruly drivers all over ?

    March 23, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
  7. sameh

    You will not believe what is happening in the stadium during the match

    March 24, 2012 at 2:19 am |
  8. sameh

    dying lion Very influential position

    March 25, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  9. Jim

    "IF driverless cars can reduce the traffic to 10%, then the SAME number of taxis (with drivers) should do the same. Why not try that first?"

    Because a taxi without a driver means no labor costs and thus a much less expensive taxi ride.

    July 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm |

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