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Why Silicon Valley Is Winning the Robocar Race

An ad from 1957 shows a family playing dominoes in a bubble-top car as it cruises down an six-lane divided highway, its steering wheel pointedly unattended. “One day your car may speed along an electric super-highway, its speed and steering automatically controlled by electronic devices embedded in the road,” reads the copy. “Highways will be made safe -- by electricity! No traffic jams ... no collisions ... no driver fatigue.”

Now it finally seems to be happening. Google Inc.’s self-driving cars have covered more than 300,000 miles, most recently wowing the Texas Transportation Forum with a demonstration on the streets of Austin. “The remarkable thing was that it was a little unremarkable,” Coby Chase, director of the Texas Department of Transportation’s government and public affairs division, told the Dallas Morning News after his ride.