This semi-autonomous stroller from VW is a great idea

We're still on the fence about the prospect of autonomous vehicles. On the one hand, they promise to make commuting a breeze and collisions a thing of the past. On the other, they stand to take us away from the steering wheel, and that's something we can't abide. But an autonomous stroller, now that's the kind of idea we can get behind. Shame such a thing doesn't exist... right?

That's what we assumed until we saw this spot from Volkswagen. The German automaker's Dutch office posted on Facebook, asking the public for suggestions on how the company might improve other products, aside from automobiles. The most popular response was a baby stroller with automatic braking. So they went ahead and built one.

The resulting prototype – and we're sorry to report that it's just a prototype for the time being – doesn't just have automatic braking. It can even follow the parent (or nanny or whomever) around under its own power and with its own steering. It's got the adaptive cruise control sensor from a Golf and is programmed to keep a fixed distance from the guardian in front.

Or so the video suggests, at any rate. There's a good chance that there's some manner of trickery going on here, probably in the form of a hidden engineer off-screen with a remote control, and hopefully without an actual baby on board. Whether it's real or not, the invention in the commercial is sure to pique the interest of the parents among us, and maybe get those without kids thinking about taking that big step... stroller autonomously in tow.

Volkswagen Information


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