Self-Driving Hype Doesn’t Reflect Reality

Self-Driving Hype Doesn’t Reflect Reality

Auto makers promise ‘autonomous’ technology, but it will be years before we get self-driving cars that can go anywhere

By
Christopher Mims
Sept. 25, 2016 12:43 p.m. ET

To judge by recent claims, “fully autonomous” self-driving technology is just around the corner. Uber Technologies Inc. is offering Pittsburgh residents rides in autonomous Ford Fusions. Ford Motor Co., BMW AG, Volvo Car Corp. and Lyft Inc. say they will produce fully autonomous vehicles by 2021 or sooner. Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk, rarely topped in hyperbole, says the technology will be here within 24 months.

To many industry insiders, these claims are largely hype. They’re not false, but they abuse the...

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