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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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“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.

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wonderful read

an amazing read for those interested in the future of mobility. this book covers the history and the present of the mobility disruption very well.

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Great read

If you are interested in learning about the evolution of this disruptive technology, this is a great place to start. The story is more focused on the people side of the technology development, along with the universities, businesses and DARPA that were involved. I highly recommend.

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Fantastic history of autonomous cars

I loved this history lesson on the self-driving car space, as told by a knowledgeable insider who played a role in the story as it unfolds. As someone relatively new to the AV space, it was fascinating to learn the stories and characters that got us where we are today. Great stuff!

I downloaded this book only a few hours after it was released and there were a half dozen audio glitches that need to be edited (e.g. the narrator read the same phrase twice). No doubt these will be fixed soon.