Drivers Aren’t Going Away Anytime Soon, Say Driverless Car Leaders

 

Carmakers and tech companies have fallen over one another in recent weeks to show the strides they’ve made with self-driving cars. At CES — usually a stage for bragging about futuristic bona fides — top executives are instead tamping down expectations about the arrival of autonomy.

Truly driverless vehicles are years away, executives from auto giants Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co., mega supplier Robert Bosch GmbH and ride-hailing service Lyft Inc. said this week. While each of those companies showed off the progress they’re making in the form of concept models or Las Vegas test drives, they’re quick to admit that plenty of major hurdles remain.

“It’s a mistake to say that the finish line is coming up very soon,” said Gill Pratt, chief executive officer of Toyota Research Institute, the carmaker’s $1 billion unit working on artificial intelligence and robotics. “Things are changing rapidly, but this will be a long journey.”

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