A few years ago, a blind man rode in a car in Austin, Texas. Normally, such a trip would not make national headlines. However, this blind man was alone in the car. That might sound like the set up for a joke, but it’s actually a pointer toward the future. The car was one of Google’s self-driving cars. After the ride, the gentleman exited the vehicle and entered history.
That’s just one story in a never-ending stream of prognostication, commentary and “gee whiz” quips about the coming era of autonomous vehicles (AV). AVs are burning rubber in media of all kinds (you can find video of the blind man’s spin around the block here). Some of these stories address concerns about AVs and I don’t mean to discount them. Yet, AVs have an air of inevitability about them, don’t they? It’s not a question of “if” it happens, but “when.”