Pro-autonomy proponents claim self-driving cars will solve problems ranging from road fatalities to traffic congestion. But what is lost? Since its advent a century ago, the automobile has been the most liberating and democratizing creation of the industrial age, a driver’s license a de facto rite of passage. What of human agency? In an increasingly automated world, is there value in the catharsis of humans retaining control over what is arguably our most personal connection with a machine?
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