All children have a wild sense of imagination. It’s part of their normal development to explore, pretend and imagine what could be. From battling dragons in their room to cars that drive themselves, kids come up with the most outlandish ideas. Typically as children grow and mature, their imagination wanes and they become more grounded in reality. However, one university, with the help of state government officials, is giving adults a reason to imagine the possibilities once again.

Driverless cars are no longer a stretch of the imagination thanks to the University of Michigan. With help from a law passed in the last days of 2013, the University is looking to open up a driverless car test site by September of this year. The law allows automakers to test automated vehicles as long as a human is present in the driver’s seat to monitor tests and take control of the vehicle in case of emergency.  

University of Michigan and state government officials aim to have a 32-acre test site operational in time for a global conference on intelligent transportation systems this September. The test site will offer a simulated urban environment with all the modern obstacles a driver faces today, including intersections, traffic circles, building facades and a hill.  

While the technology is relatively new and still underdevelopment, it’s not technology that is the biggest obstacle to the driverless car reality. Other speed bumps such as legislation, new insurance industry guidelines, and the consumer’s acceptance of safety all present challenges.There are tricky questions that need to be answered, such as in the event of a car crash, who would be at fault?

While we probably won’t see driverless cars being produced and sold nationwide in 2014, it’s not hard to imagine that the day will soon come when vehicles no longer need a driver. 

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