Why self-driving cars remain more science fiction than future

The future, playground of poets and prognosticators, often seems tantalizingly close. Yet it remains out of reach, wishful thinking notwithstanding. Take self-driving cars, for example. While we may never get beamed up via transporters or see Martian colonies in our lifetimes, autonomous autos are being talked up as a reality that will be ours to enjoy sooner rather than later. Indeed, the technology already exists. It would work something like this: You have errands to run, kids to deposit at school, a friend to visit, a concert or a football game to attend. You hop into your car and punch in the destination. It is the last driving decision you will make during the trip. It will take you to your destination, leave on its own to find a parking…


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