Cars that drive themselves used to be a pipe dream, only to be seen in the movies. But with cars already packed with information technology, the idea is no longer far-fetched for global automakers, and the competition is heating up.
U.S. companies are leading the way. Last year, Google Inc. posted a video on YouTube showing a car traveling on its own while its “driver” eats a hamburger, with his hands completely off the steering wheel. The clip, covering a slice of the firm’s 320,000 km of computer-led driving tests on public roads, has been viewed almost 5 million times.