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Automakers, engineers see big possibilities for driverless cars

It’s been a futurist fever dream since at least 1939, when visitors to the General Motors pavilion at the New York World’s Fair marveled at a glimpse of the automotive future: a miniaturized model of a city prowled by 50,000 robot cars, controlled not by human drivers but centralized radio waves.

That future may have been delayed a bit (the GM pavilion boldly predicted that humans would be out from behind the steering wheel by 1960) but it’s no longer a utopian daydream or pulpish science fiction: Several car companies say they’ll begin selling vehicles that can drive themselves — at least part of the time — by the end of this decade. And Florida will be right there at Ground Zero of the automotive revolution….
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