How the Bay Area Took the Wheel of the Autonomous Vehicle Industry

More than 60 companies in the region — some based here, others drawn from as far away as China, France and Japan — are chasing the dream of robotic driving.  Classic five-person startups bunking in garages also are angling for pieces of a market that all assume will be huge. Global automakers including Ford and Honda have opened Bay Area labs and placed billion-dollar bets on the field’s most promising technologies.