Engineers at Google have successfully trialled self-driving cars on the streets of California, according to the firm.
The automated vehicles - which have so far covered 140,000 miles on the road - are hoped to help reduce traffic as well as cut the number of accidents.
The new technology may also eventually help in reducing the cost ofcar insurance claims.
The cars operate with the help of cameras, range finders, radar sensors and improved software. Google added that they are only driven over authorised and pre-planned routes.
Sebastian Thrun, a software engineer behind the project, told the BBC: "We believe our technology has the potential to cut that number, perhaps by as much as half. While this project is very much in the experimental stage, it provides a glimpse of what transportation might look like in the future thanks to advanced computer science. And that future is very exciting."
Copyright © Press Association 2010