Earlier this year, Google announced its plans to start getting their self-driving cars out on real roads around Mountain View, California (with human drivers on board to serve as fail-safes, at first). But even if these pod-like vehicles find instant and widespread popularity, our society will still be at least 15 years behind what the ambitious engineers of 1971 predicted.

This clip from British Movietone was posted as part of the AP's mass release of their incredible archival footage. It shows a robot car designed by the Road Research Laboratory cruising around a special track that sends electric signals to a bulky box affixed to the front bumper.

The narrator describes the new driverless car as "the safest thing to come in highway travel," and speculates that it will be part of "everyday use within 30 years."