Autonomous vehicles are moving from their infancy into their adolescence.
For most people, self-driving cars are just an abstraction, something they read about occasionally in the press but still consider a far-off, futuristic fantasy. They read the headlines and scoff, “Not in my lifetime.” But the events of this past month may help put a lot of that skepticism to rest. There was a flurry of activity in both Congress and the private sector over the past few weeks, signaling a key shift in the trajectory of self-driving cars and proving that these vehicles are much closer to reality than most people think.
Experts whose job it is to pay close attention to this emerging technology have been impressed with the pace of developments in the last few weeks. “Out of the past three years that I've been researching [autonomous vehicle] policy, this is by far the most important month of Congressional action and partnerships I've seen yet,” said Greg Rogers, a policy analyst at the Eno Center for Transportation. “What we're seeing right now is that autonomous vehicles are moving from their infancy into their adolescence.”
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