The Thinking Car

55mins | 2010 | DocumentaryNR
Roxana Spicer
Start your engines! The international race to build the world's first crash-proof car is on. The stakes are enormous. Every twenty-seven seconds someone gets killed behind the wheel of a car. This year more than a million will die world-wide. What if engineers could design a car too smart to crash? Will drivers trust the car to take over the decision-making in the critical seconds before impact?

THE THINKING CAR takes viewers behind closed doors into the secret and controversial world of brain caps, eye-trackers, heat-sensing cameras, and sophisticated sensors - the tools of the automotive visionaries who dare to dream of a world in which cars are smarter than the driver. A car that monitors the driver - is he paying attention or on the verge of falling asleep? With the exponential growth of computer and vision technology, the thinking car can see in the dark, around corners and 360 degrees around itself.

It reacts with superhuman speed, braking and even steering by itself to avoid a devastating collision. But will the technology backfire by creating a population of zombies behind the wheel?  From the man who crashes two hundred cars a year to medical detectives searching for clues in the human body, the secret to developing a crash proof car, lies in the critical one tenth of a second of impact. For the first time, engineers who have survived or even caused devastating collisions, relive the most terrifying seconds of their lives in the world's most sophisticated driving simulator.

They are trying to unlock the mysterious physics and psychology of what happens in those key microseconds before a car crash. Unprecedented access to the secret test tracks and engineering labs of the world's leading auto manufacturers gives viewers a ring side seat in a technological race with billions at stake. Driving in the 21st century will never be the same. The relationship between man and his most beloved machine is about to change forever.

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