For decades, the self-driving car was an unrealized technological dream. Though much research has been conducted and many prototypes have been developed over the years, it wasn't until very recently that truly functional autonomous consumer vehicles moved into the realm of possibility. Though there's still a long way before the wider general public starts using self-driving cars, that hasn't stopped tech companies from beginning to develop the next innovations in transportation. Here are 12 candidates for the "next big thing" in travel, according to Forbes Technology Council. Companies have been working on a flying drone car that will look like a mini helicopter.
Samsung plans to become a major player in autonomous vehicles with the announcement of two major pieces of news. The first is the launch of the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund, a $300 million (£225m) kitty to help self-driving technology start-ups and schemes. Samsung also revealed an initiative to develop connected-car technology with Harman, the auto parts maker it acquired for $8 billion (£6bn) in November 2016. Samsung has launched an Automotive Innovation Fund, a $300 million (£225m) kitty to help self-driving technology start-ups and schemes. In recent months, Samsung has secured licenses for autonomous driving pilot projects in South Korea and California.
Apple has been interested in automotive technology for a long time -- the company already has the CarPlay infotainment system. But now it is moving further into the automotive industry and is working on its own self-driving technology. Apple was granted a permit to test its self-driving technology in California earlier this month. The state released 41 pages of application documents to Business Insider because of a request to access public records. While the company has not made a formal acknowledgement of the information mentioned in the documents, a lot of light has been shed on what the company plans to do in terms of its self-driving program.
Self-driving cars clearly stand to benefit from sharing data -- you want your car to know about traffic jams before you're stuck in gridlock. The tech giant is partnering with Here on a next-gen communications hub for nearly or completely autonomous cars. Here's location info will help LG share a car's situational awareness with other vehicles, giving you customized driving info and (potentially) smarter decisions. If there's a road ahead with mercifully light traffic, for instance, your car might turn on to it to avoid delays.