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An autonomous car (also known as a driverless car, self-driving car and robotic car[1]) is a vehicle that is capable of sensing its environment and navigating without human input.[2]

Autonomous cars combine a variety of techniques to perceive their surroundings, including radar, laser light, GPS, odometry and computer vision. Advanced control systems interpret sensory information to identify appropriate navigation paths, as well as obstacles and relevant signage.[3][4]

The potential benefits of autonomous cars include reduced mobility and infrastructure costs, increased safety, increased mobility, increased customer satisfaction and reduced crime. Specifically a significant reduction in traffic collisions;[5][6] the resulting injuries; and related costs, including less need for insurance. Autonomous cars are predicted to increase traffic flow;[7] provide enhanced mobility for children, the elderly,[8] disabled and the poor; relieve travelers from driving and navigation chores; lower fuel consumption; significantly reduce needs for parking space;[9] reduce crime;[10] and facilitate business models for transportation as a service, especially via the sharing economy.[11][12] This shows the vast disruptive potential of the emerging technology.[13]

In spite of the various potential benefits to increased vehicle automation, there are unresolved problems, such as safety, technology issues, disputes concerning liability,[14][15] resistance by individuals to forfeiting control of their cars,[16] customer concern about the safety of driverless cars,[17] implementation of a legal framework and establishment of government regulations; risk of loss of privacy and security concerns, such as hackers or terrorism; concern about the resulting loss of driving-related jobs in the road transport industry; and risk of increased suburbanization as travel becomes less costly and time-consuming. Many of these issues arise because autonomous objects, for the first time, would allow computers to roam freely, with many related safety and security concerns.