Ageless love of driving is on crash course with the 'autonomous car'"I think those of us who are under 60 (he's 80) will live to see the day of getting into a car at your home, programming in the destination and then sitting back and the car will take you via GPS, radar sensors and vision sensors to your destination," he said.
"The car will merge into freeway traffic, it will exit the freeway at the right exit, then it will take you to your final destination. When you are at your final destination, you can actually send the car away to park itself and then you call it up again on your iPhone and it will come and pick you up."
Cars will have automatic distance control so they can be tightly spaced on the freeway, all doing 90 mph.
This can be a good thing because electronics are more reliable than people.
"The electronics in the car don't drink, they don't smoke pot, they don't go to sleep at the wheel," Lutz said. "So will there be accidents? Sure, but it is going to be vastly fewer than we have today with human drivers."
Most cars won't smell of fuel, according to the man who worked on the electric Chevrolet Volt before leaving GM at the end of 2009.
"At some point we'll have inductive rails in the freeways so that the cars can charge while they're going down the freeway," he said. "And with the next generation of lithium batteries, we will see ranges of 300 and 400 miles per charge. Once range limitation goes away, which is probably five to 10 years out, if every morning you've got 400 miles in your battery, why would you need a gas engine?"
For the same reason you need your horse, of course.
"The same thing will happen to the car as we know and love it that happened to the horse," Lutz said. "It will be banned from the streets as a form of transportation and it will migrate to automotive country clubs like the Autobahn Country Club in Joliet, Ill., or various others cropping up around the country.
"The horse today is no longer a means of transportation, it's an instrument of pleasure and that's what's going to happen with cars."