Driverless Cars Are Taking Longer Than We Expected. Here’s Why.

When world-altering technologies come about, people can find themselves, literally, at a loss for words. So they sometimes define new gizmos by what they are not, instead of what they are. The box that brought Fred Allen and Major Bowes into American homes was known early on as a wireless. The telephone you used while walking from room to room was cordless. And way back when, there was an innovative form of transportation called the horseless carriage.

Now we are at the dawn of the driverless car, also often described as autonomous. Perhaps in time — as was the case with the radio, the automobile and the mobile phone — it will acquire an appellation of its own that is not so ungainly. Much may depend on how far beyond infancy this technology goes.