Melba Kurman

Melba Kurman is an author and technology analyst with years of software industry experience. She and Hod Lipson are coauthors of Fabricated: The New World of 3D Printing and Driverless: Autonomous Vehicles and the Road Ahead (MIT Press).

  • Driverless


    Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead

    Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman

    When human drivers let intelligent software take the wheel: the beginning of a new era in personal mobility.

    “Smart, wide-ranging, [and] nontechnical.”—Los Angeles Times

    “Anyone who wants to understand what's coming must read this fascinating book.” —Martin Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots

    In the year 2014, Google fired a shot heard all the way to Detroit. Google's newest driverless car had no steering wheel and no brakes. The message was clear: cars of the future will be born fully autonomous, with no human driver needed. In the coming decade, self-driving cars will hit the streets, rearranging established industries and reshaping cities, giving us new choices in where we live and how we work and play.

    In this book, Hod Lipson and Melba Kurman offer readers insight into the risks and benefits of driverless cars and a lucid and engaging explanation of the enabling technology. Recent advances in software and robotics are toppling long-standing technological barriers that for decades have confined self-driving cars to the realm of fantasy. A new kind of artificial intelligence software called deep learning gives cars rapid and accurate visual perception. Human drivers can relax and take their eyes off the road.

    When human drivers let intelligent software take the wheel, driverless cars will offer billions of people all over the world a safer, cleaner, and more convenient mode of transportation. Although the technology is nearly ready, car companies and policy makers may not be. The authors make a compelling case for why government, industry, and consumers need to work together to make the development of driverless cars our society's next “Apollo moment.”

    • Hardcover $29.95
    • Paperback $19.95