Here’s a really smart car!

Story and image thanks to

Dr Jun Jo with his prototype and model.

What is your car doing right now? If you are reading this then I can almost be sure it is sitting still doing absolutely nothing apart from taking up space. This is one of the things Dr Jun Jo of Griffith University in Queensland hopes to fix.

The interesting thing is that Dr Jo says the answer is possibly already sitting in your pocket. Your smartphone is packed with enough computing power to take the wheel of your car and safely navigate the roads. You sit back, relax and take care of other business during this time that would be otherwise wasted looking at the back of the car ahead of you. The other bonus is that this could change the concept of car ownership. Cars would become more like a service than a product and could self drive from one user to another. Using the phone is an extension of that concept where you have your address book, GPS, driving preferences and entertainment system with you easily plugged into what ever car you are using. It also provides a means of payment for use of the car without needing to dig out your wallet and swipe a credit card.

To me this is pretty exciting stuff. No need to find parking, no need to book services (this should also be automated), no licensing, no speeding fines and a large range of other things we can say goodbye to.

There is of course always a price to pay. I also enjoy driving and I am sure I will miss the feeling of control as I make the rare gear change that just clicks nicely or when I take a curve just right. Until governments outlaw hands on wheels however, I feel pretty safe that the pleasure of driving a nice car is not in danger just yet. When that day does come, I will look at motorcycles again for my motoring buzz.

If you want to check out the same story on Sky News (with video), click here.