Glenn Beck was recently able to drive a vehicle with driver assist technology, which he described Tuesday as "the closest thing to a self-driving car" and what he believes will be "the next step" before cars become fully autonomous.
"It is absolutely unbelievable," Beck said on his radio program. "You push what used to be cruise control, and you set the cruise control, and then you decide how many car lengths you want to be from the car in front of you. So I set it to like two car lengths, set it at church. I did not touch the gas or the brake until I got home."
"It's insane. You're steering the car," Beck continued. "But the car won't let you go out of your own lane. You put on the blinker, and then you can switch lanes. If you don't put on the blinker and you just kind of drift, first, the steering wheel vibrates. Then if you don't correct, it automatically corrects for you and keeps you in your lane."
Beck said it "freaked [him] out" on the highway, and when they exited, he decided not to touch the brake, but hover over it in case he needed to override the vehicle. He was amazed that the car slowed down exactly like it was supposed to for the off-ramp, stopped at the light, and started back up when it was time to go.
"Completely smoothly. Smoother than I can drive. Completely smoothly," Beck added. "I mean, it's insane."
Beck said he has a "love-hate relationship with technology" where he both thinks it is both "the greatest" and could be a "recipe for disaster."
"Try this on for size," he said. "I was talking to a guy who has this car and he said, 'I was driving and a semi-truck almost hit me.' He said, 'It came swerving into my lane and the car took over and pushed me.'"
"And I said, 'What happens if there's a car in the other lane?' He said, 'There was another car in the lane. It sensed the other car in the other lane and kept me between the two cars.' Is that insane?" Beck asked.
Beck's co-host Stu Burguiere predicted that self-driving cars will soon be like airplanes, where it "feels weird" not to be in control, but "once you get past that instinct, these things will take over really fast."
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