Smart cars: Who’s in the driver’s seat?

Smart cars

Sure, it looked fun on “Knight Rider” — sporting about in a car that could literally think for itself.

The era of cars with artificial intelligence may be coming, but what if your smart auto could talk to similarly smart cars? More ominously, who would be listening in?

Here’s another cheery thought. What if these new computer-driven cars have information hackers can download? Who would be in the driver’s seat then?

The Christian Science Monitor reports that vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) engines are cheap, simple, effective and downright creepy.

According to the newspaper, researchers at the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute did a survey of drivers and found that 62 percent of them said they liked the idea of connected cars.

A whopping 75 percent believed that “connected vehicles will reduce the number and severity of crashes, improve emergency response times and result in better fuel economy.” And 60 percent expect to see lower vehicle emissions, less congestion and shorter commutes.

However, the Christian Science Monitor reports, there’s a dark side. Some 30 percent of those surveyed said they were “very concerned” about security breaches and the loss of manual control.

They also worried about network breakdowns during bad weather and the possibility of technology distracting drivers.

According to the Christian Science Monitor, the survey may be flawed because it was offered online. People using the computer are folks already pretty peppy about technology and its potential.