Self-driving cars have always fascinated me, ever since I saw a cover image of kids playing checkers in the back of an autonomous car on the cover of Boy's Life in my elementary school library. (Checkers in a car! The future is now!) After years of waiting, the military is finally making my dreams a reality in their push to have all their wars fought by robots. The TerraMax self-driving vehicle can make its way through traffic, stopping at stop signs and avoiding other cars, with no driver necessary.

About as long as an SUV but twice as tall, the TerraMax trucks could help transport equipment and supplies without putting soldiers in harm's way. Initially, they'll probably be deployed in convoys mixed in with people-driven vehicles, but Congress has mandated that one in three vehicles in use by the military be unmanned by 2015. That's all well and good, but how about making some civilian versions of these? I've tried to play checkers while driving now, and not only does it make my driving much more dangerous, but I'm distracted so I always lose. [Yahoo]

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