AP Archive: Look, no hands - the driverless car, as imagined in 1971

Lynsey Barber
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The race to build the driverless car may be the height of modern technology, but researchers were already dreaming of a self-driving vehicle 40 years ago - and making it happen.

New footage reveals early attempts by scientists to create a driverless car - and the result isn't half bad.

"Look no hands. And no driver for that matter," a voiceover says in the video dating back to 1971, as it shows a computer controlled car.

"It may be a bit of a pipe dream at the moment, but researchers say that robot cars may be in use within the next 30 years" it adds. They may have been a little ambitious when it came to timings, but the idea is not far different from the serious plans by major technology companies like Google to make driverless cars a reality.

The film clip is just one of thousands of historic news reels which have been released by Associated Press dating as far back as 1895.

The new AP Archive and British Movietone YouTube channels will host millions of minutes of broadcasts about the biggest news moments of the last century - from natural disasters to movie star moments.

“The AP archive footage, combined with the British Movietone collection, creates an incredible visual journey of the people and events that have shaped our history,” Alwyn Lindsey, AP’s international archive director.

“At AP we are always astonished at the sheer breadth of footage that we have access to, and the upload to YouTube means that, for the first time, the public can enjoy some of the oldest and most remarkable moments in history.”

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