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Why Ford (NYSE: F) Wants to Put a Robot in Your Driver's Seat

There is a cutting edge technology that could save the lives of up to 10 million people around the world over the next decade.

If you drive a car, one of them might just be you.

Car crashes kill about 1.2 million people worldwide each year. And let's face it, drivers are getting worse -- not better.

Between texting, mobile e-mail and glitzy in-dash graphics, today's drivers are more distracted than ever.

In fact, more than 90 percent of all auto accidents are caused by driver error.

That's one of the reasons why Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) is taking the lead in producing robotic cars.

In other words, it won't be long before you can put your car on "auto pilot."

A Radical Change for Drivers

Technically speaking, though, the robot wouldn't actually drive the car for you.

Instead, the vehicle will be cram-packed with advanced sensors, computer chips, radar and software.

Together, all these gadgets are designed to take over driving at critical times, such as when a driver wanders out of his lane.

These autonomous features could also help combat the boredom many of today's drivers suffer in urban centers when they are stuck in traffic nearly an hour each day.

That's not to say that today's cars are unsafe.

Compared to vehicles from 20 years ago, today's feature-rich cars and trucks are practically like space capsules. A series of breakthroughs in design and materials have made cars safer and more sophisticated than ever before.

And yet the roads really aren't that much safer.

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