My hometown, Mountain View, Calif., has become the unofficial capital of the robotic car revolution. Each day, I seem to run into one, two, or three self-driving Google cars. They’re on my freeways; they’re in my neighborhood; they’re taking my shortcuts.
One time, five of the self-driving cars gathered at a gas station equidistant from my house and Google headquarters. It felt a bit like the robots had taken ownership of my watering hole. People, likely well-paid engineers, had to fill up the cars as if they were fleshy lackeys. The rest of us waited for the robots to get full and head off to wherever it is robots go.