Are We Ready for Driverless Cars?

The exciting thing about emerging vehicle automation technologies is that they are capable of performing complex driving functions — such as safely navigating a car through rush-hour city streets — that until recently were much too complex for computers. In the long term, vehicle automation will be able to deliver what today sounds like science fiction: You will have the option of getting in a car with no human driver, entering a destination on a smartphone, and then sitting back to read an electronic book while being whisked along the highway. But that capability won’t be available by 2020 on any significant scale.