With big initiatives under way from Google, Apple, Daimler and more, the autonomous car is driving into view as the future of transportation.
Whenever we imagine this technology, the reality always seems distant. Indeed, the dominant narrative of Silicon Valley companies’ development efforts is one of stealth, with eventual glitzy launches far in the future, following lengthy, secret testing.
That leaves us dreaming of the autonomous car seen in science fiction movies like “Minority Report,” “Judge Dredd” and “I, Robot,” which all cast protagonists riding future freeways with no hands. After all, such a radical thing as a self-driving car is surely that far away, right?
The truth, however, is that driverless cars are already here — we just don’t recognize them.
Autonomous-car experiments have been carried out since at least the 1950s. Today, many of our journeys are already being driven by algorithms.
Consider cruise control. What…
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