Total Recall (1990), Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) riding in Johnny Taxi cab
Much like the flying car, the car that drives itself has been a technological dream for decades. What would be better than settling back while your car does all the driving for you? Though it's only now becoming close to reality, the self-driving car has appeared frequently in sci-fi movies and TV shows. Here's an overview of nine of them.

9. Johnny Cab (Total Recall, 1990)
When Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has to escape some hired thugs, he hops into an automated taxicab with a robot torso named Johnny Cab. Johnny Cab is friendly and helpful, but not a fast driver, so Quaid has to rip him out and drive himself. When Quaid tries to leave, he discovers Johnny has an added feature of blowing up to kill fares who don't pay up.

8. Herbie (The Love Bug)
This Volkswagen Beetle can move and drive itself, often against the wishes of its passengers. Herbie not only races, but helps its owners fall in love. Exactly how it gained this ability was never explained, but I'm assuming there's an incredibly sophisticated computer under that hood. Either that or it was possessed.

7. Audi (I, Robot)
When futuristic detective Spooner (Will Smith) rolls, he rolls in a self-driving Audi. It lets him settle back and take a nap on route, but when he gets into trouble, Spooner takes the wheel. In his world, self-driving cars are so reliable that Spooner gets criticized for driving his own car. A man driving his own car? How irresponsible is that?

6. Bumblebee (Transformers)
When a group of alien robots come to Earth, their scout is a robot named Bumblebee that can change into a Chevy Camaro for Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf). Bumblebee can't talk, but he can drive himself, and even "breaks down" on cue to help his driver's love life. The high-powered weapons and urinating gas cap are bonus features.

5. Benny the Cab (Who Framed Roger Rabbit)
Benny is a toon in the shape of a car who serves as a taxi. Not only can he drive himself, but when his wheels get drenched in Dip, he ends up driving another car. That takes self-driving cars to a whole new level.

4. Lexus 2054 (Minority Report)
When Tom Cruise goes on the run in this dystopian future, he drives a Lexus connected to a mass transit system called "maglev." Maglev, short for magnetic levitation system, can transport cars both vertically and horizontally at a hundred miles an hour. His Lexus can also park in his living room, and clean itself. Unfortunately, it can also be remote controlled by the police.

3. The Tumbler (The Dark Knight)
In Batman Begins, the Tumbler is a military vehicle adapted into the Batmobile. The Tumbler is bulletproof and can jump across rooftops. InThe Dark Knight, we learn it also drives itself, and has an intimidate mode as well. As if it wasn't intimidating enough to begin with.

2. Batmobile (Batman, 1989)
The Batmobile is sleek, powerful, and deadly. It can not only drive itself, but also wrap itself up like an armadillo, shoot guns, missiles, and blow up a whole factory all by itself. Really, it makes you wonder why Batman (Michael Keaton) drives it at all. Where does he get those wonderful toys?

1. K.I.T.T. (Knight Rider)
In this TV series, a supercomputer is installed in a bulletproof car to fight crime. KITT can not only drive itself, but also jump over objects, go at high speeds, and crack wise with its driver, Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff). KITT is more than just a self-driving car. It's a best friend.

Which is your favorite self-driving car? Would you like to have a car that drives itself? What would you do with it?

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K.I.T.T. is a great #1 choice. I would use it on the long drives, so I could eat or sleep when I wanted. My wife has forbade me from eating and driving.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bumblebee. Because unlike a real Camaro, he'd get good gas mileage.

Pat Dilloway said...

I liked the self-driving cars in Demolition Man that filled up with foam if you got into an accident. Though I'd worry about suffocating on the foam. Anyway, the original KITT was awesome. Let's just forget about the stupid reboot one. I'm trying to remember now if the Dodge Viper from the shortlived "Viper" TV show could drive itself. It was pretty sweet-looking; somewhere I have a remote control version of it. Or I did at any rate.

Nisse Söderström said...

Naturally Johnny Cab from Total Recall simply because he whistles the Norwegian national anthem!

Stephen Tremp said...

I'm thinking Christine, both a book and movie from Stephen King.


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