Tesla on autopilot Volkswagen's self-driving stroller Robots like these could be a new way to handle food and trash. Photo from swisslog.com

This year at CES, the annual consumer electronics show in Las Vegas, some ultramodern technology was introduced. From refrigerators that can order groceries, to single-passenger drones, futuristic inventions are making their way into our everyday lives. This new technology is changing how we live, and how we design and plan the spaces we build. Here are four futuristic ideas making headlines right now:

  1. Somerville is preparing for driverless cars with the Urban Future Initiative, a partnership with Audi to study how driverless cars interact with urban space.
  2. Tesla Autopilot allows some owners of the Model S sedan to experience self-driving cars right now. The feature allows the car to change lanes, steer, and park itself while the driver becomes a passenger. One reviewer described how he used Autopilot for dealing with stop and go traffic while he ate his lunch with both hands.
  3. In Toronto, the 1.8 million-square-foot Humber River Hospital counts 10 robots among its employees. Used to move food, supplies, and equipment, the robots stop for pedestrians and are able to alert logistics if they need to have someone clear their path.
  4. Unfortunately, the autonomous electric stroller that Volkswagen released a video of turned out to be a stunt, but the concept was pretty popular with a lot of viewers. Perhaps the autonomous stroller will be the next futuristic idea to become reality?

Topics: Design, Technology