Are you ready for self-driving cars?

“In my estimation, by 2015 we will have at least an engineering prototype of a vehicle with reasonable capabilities to be called a completely autonomous vehicle. In about 10 years roughly, we should be able to make it commercially available,” said Raj Rajkumar, co-director of General Motors-Carnegie Mellon Collaborative Research Labs, which oversees GM’s self-driving vehicle project…

Alan Taub, GM vice president of global research and development, said the company aims to produce fully autonomous vehicles by the latter part of this decade. “In less-complicated environments such as the highways, it will be ready earlier,” he said.

Another promising project involves Internet search giant Google and a fleet of a half-dozen Toyota Priuses and an Audi TT. The project is the brainchild of computer scientist Sebastian Thrun, a Google fellow, director of Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and co-inventor of Google’s Street-View mapping service.