The Coming of the Auto-Auto

The automobile constituted a major turning point in the history of the industrial revolution.  It dramatically increased mobility and the ease and speed of transportation.  It forever transformed the American economy and culture itself.  It was embraced rapidly by the masses but reviled by many of the cultural elites, as anyone familiar with Booth Tarkington's classic novel The Magnificent Ambersons (or Orson Welles's movie based on it) can attest.  It has been the focus of hostility among those cultural elites ever since.  Well, not to shock those culture mavens, but some recent stories suggest that the ultimate turning point in the history of the car may finally be at hand. The stories report that autonomous (auto-piloted) automobiles ("auto-autos") -- meaning ones that drive themselves without the owner having to do more than tell the car where to take him -- are now within sight.  One report from the WSJ reports that Mercedes Benz is testing an...(Read Full Article)

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