Jeff Sankoff stands in front of his Tesla model S, which has a new self-driving feature and can switch lanes and parallel park autonomously.

(Courtesy Jeff Sankoff)

Recently, I took a test drive with Tesla owner Dr. Jeff Sankoff of Denver. Not only to check out his new car, but to see how it drives itself. The car can switch lines autonomously and parallel park. And if futurists are right, one day cars like these may leave drivers with nothing to do but enjoy the view. 

  • Watch a video demonstration of Google's self-driving cars.  

Technology advocates want the Denver area to become a national center for self-driving cars.  The metro area is in the running for the Smart City Challenge, a contest where one medium-sized city will receive a $50-million grant to test out new transportation technologies. 

The city is also working with the Basalt-based Rocky Mountain Institute to study autonomous vehicles. 

Jon Walker of the Rocky Mountain Institute's Mobility Transformation program spoke with Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.