Personal transportation is on the cusp of its greatest transformation since the advent of the internal combustion engine.
With the rise of self-driving vehicles, ride-sharing, traffic congestion and environmental regulation, we may not even own cars in the future, much less drive them.
A glimpse of the coming revolution can be seen in the models debuting this week at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Hidden under their hoods and dashboards are sensors that take the first steps toward autonomous driving. Already, cars can park themselves, slam on the brakes to avoid crashes and adjust steering to stay centered in a lane.
But the disruption will go well beyond who is — or isn’t — at the controls. For a century, cars have been symbols of freedom and status. Passengers of the future may well view vehicles as just another form of public transportation, to be purchased by the trip or in a subscription.