Automakers know that in order to keep up with customer demand, they must continually make innovations. This is why you see changes with how a car looks each year. Engines and interiors change from year to year, and the technology changes as well. So it is no secret that in 2015, interactive media modules allow drivers to use their cell phones in their cars and self-parking modules help drivers parallel park.

These innovations are precursors to what is ultimately to come; what has been seen in science fiction films over the last 20 years: self driving cars. According to some experts, these vehicles will be on American roads by the end of this decade. In fact, an Audi SUV equipped with self-driving technology produced by Delphi Corporation will be making the longest trip for an experimental vehicle ever. 

The car will drive itself from California to New York on the strength of small cameras, lasers and a bevy of sensors that will allow the vehicle to “see” all around it in order to avoid hazards, merge on and off of highways and keep the engineer driver safe. He reportedly is there in the event of an emergency, but he is likely going to be taking notes and reporting on how the vehicle handles in inclement weather.

After this trip, it remains to be seen how quickly self-driving cars become mainstream. But until then (and even when they become a reality) drivers must still use reasonable care while behind the wheel.