Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Michael Fallon
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.
Even though the auto industry optimistically predicted that self-driving technology would exist by the 1970s, it now seems that some of these features will be safe enough to be mass produced by the early 2020s. Some estimate that completely autonomous vehicles will be developed by 2030. To make this all a reality there are lots of challenges to face. In addition to a completely restructured road system and a shift in psychology for a very independent American public, the technology for self-driving automobiles must surpass the human brain in processing speed and decision-making ability. Furthermore, these vehicles must be affordable. Once these roadblocks are overcome, the world may look forward to safer, speedier, and more energy-efficient transportation.
Self-Driving Cars is accessible for the average adolescent reader and contains substantial information of a technical nature. It begins with a summary of the technological and manufacturing history of automobiles from da Vinci’s blueprints of a steam engine to the modern Tesla. This information puts self-driving cars into the context of the many milestones transportation visionaries have hit over the past five and a half centuries. This organizational tactic makes the relevance, obstacles, and achievements of AI auto technology appear in perspective. The chronological pacing of the book is also very logical, and the layout with headings, colors, graphics, and captions makes the information very easy to comprehend. Furthermore, a timeline of transportation innovations, source notes and bibliographies, a glossary, and an index appear at the end of the book to give the reader other ways to engage with the information. This is a great read for anyone who has even a mild interest in cars and transportation.