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Publisher's Summary

A deep dive into the race to develop and perfect the driverless car - an innovation that promises to be the most disruptive change to our way of life since the smartphone - by a veteran insider of the automotive and tech worlds.

In Autonomy, former GM executive and current advisor to the Google self-driving car project Lawrence Burns offers a sweeping history of the race to make the driverless car a reality. In the past decade, Silicon Valley companies like Google, Tesla, and Uber have positioned themselves to revolutionize the way we move around by developing driverless vehicles while traditional auto companies like General Motors, Ford, and Daimler have been fighting back by partnering by with new tech start-ups. It’s not a question of whether the self-driving car will disrupt the automobile industry; it’s a question of when and how, and who will win the race.

With the first driverless car likely to hit markets in less than five years, Burns also looks toward the future and explains how this new technology will impact our lives - from removing the hassles of driving, parking, and refueling our cars to eliminating 90 percent of road fatalities, drastically reducing our carbon footprint, and automating yet another segment of blue-collar industries, putting more workers out of their jobs.

We are on the brink of a technological revolution that promises to fundamentally change how we interact with our world. A chronicle of the past, diagnosis of the present, and prediction of the future, Autonomy is the ultimate guide to understanding the driverless car and to navigating the revolution it sparks.

©2018 Lawrence D. Burns (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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Easy listen, non-technical perspective

It seems to be a fairly even-handed history and analysis of autonomous automobiles, though not complete. Lacking any technical details, which could be good or bad depending on your taste. Also lacks details regarding the extent of entrenchment in old ways of doing business in Detroit.

Can't expect everything from someone writing about a rapidly-evolving technology. I'm just happy someone from the inside took the initiative to write about the current state of affairs for autonomous vehicles.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jim Fuqua
  • Hendersonville, TN United States
  • 01-18-19

Change is closer than you think.

We owe a lot to a few in the development of vehicles that will save the lives of over a 100,000 people a year and vehicles that confine millions more to mindless commutes. This book names names and tells about the journey to the future which is very near.

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  • James
  • Healdsburg, CA
  • 12-18-18

Relevant to ALL of us

A very good historical recollection from a Detroit insider who recapped how we got here and where we are going.

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Excellent and thought provoking.

This is a fantastic story of disruption, perseverance, and the desire to progress for the betterment of humanity. We'll work the listen.

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a great read...

Very informative. the best book about autonomous vehicles I have read so far. highly recommended!

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  • AyJayATL
  • Atlanta, GA United States
  • 12-14-18

Good book, needs better audio editing.

Needs audio editing. Multiple retakes left in. Well read otherwise. Good story telling by author.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great insight into the future of autonomous cars

Great narration of the book explaining the future of autonomous cars. It explains how DARPA and 911 sparked the continued creation of autonomous cars. What most believed wouldn't happen for years is now around the corner. The book does a great job bringing the real human stories around this invention to life.

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“We’re heading for interesting times. Enjoy the ride”

The book chronicles the voyage and players of the autonomous driving car, and it does it in a wonderful way. It leaves you with a hopeful and excited view of what’s to come. Most of all, it allows the reader to really understand all that had to and still has to happen for this this all to come to fruition. Great listen.

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Inspiring and compelling

Well written and engaging story for anyone. There is a plethora of historical details which will interest anyone who cares about technology or transportation.

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Great for technical and non-technical audiences!

Control theory and autonomy are very daunting topics; in-depth math, computer science, machine learning, etc. Autonomy offers a glimpse into this world and what it offers, but keeps it light enough that it can be thoroughly enjoyed by a non-technical audience as it speaks to the societal and economic impacts of the autonomy disruption. As a research engineer, I appreciated the technical discussions and nods at DARPA's Grand Challenges, but I could listen without extreme focus and still understand what was happening. The narration is light and clear, making for a fun listen. I'd recommend this for engineers and non-STEM folks alike, as it really makes you appreciate how one technology can cause ripples through society that will disrupt generations.