A car that drives itself sounds like something out of a science fiction movie. I don't know how many times when driving alone on a trip I thought to myself, I wish I could put this car on cruise control and it would really drive itself, sort of like auto pilot on a plane. Well, guess what - at next week's International CES that could just become a reality according to IDG News Service.

As the annual electronics show approaches, the talk is not about cellphones, tablets or big screen TV's. Rather, it's about two automakers - Toyota and Audi. Each company plans to unveil prototype self-driving car technology on Monday.

Toyota offered a tantalizing glimpse at its prototype through a 5-second video clip published online of its "Advanced Active Safety Research Vehicle."

The video shows a Lexus car decked out with various sensors on the front grill, rear wheels and the roof, the most striking of which is a spinning cylinder on the roof. A similar device is used in a self-driving car prototype developed by Google and in city mapping cars operated by companies including Nokia.

Lasers point at the cylinder and through reflections from the car manage to map out an accurate image of the car's surroundings complete with depth information that would be unavailable from a conventional camera.

Several other car makers are also researching self-driving and autonomous automotive technology.

At last year's Ceatec exhibition in Japan, Nissan unveiled a prototype car that could park itself, while Volvo is working on a vehicle platoon system that allows cars to automatically follow one another on long stretches of highway. Alongside Google in Silicon Valley, Stanford University has developed a prototype self-driving car based on an Audi TTS.

My question is: Would you be willing to drive around in a car with all the contraptions  and a spinning cylinder on the roof just because your car could drive itself?

See what else is going to be hot at this years electronic show.