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01: HOPPING ABOARD

The car’s summoned with an app. It makes its way over from your garage. Hop on once it “recognises” you, then lean back and make calls, send mail, or just catch up on last night’s business news.

[dropcap size=small]Lidar[/dropcap] Lasers “see” up to 1.5 soccer pitches away. Latest tech, and works in the dark.

[dropcap size=small]Radar[/dropcap] For when rain, snowfall and haze get in the way of lasers, good old radio waves can still detect objects reliably.

02: QUICK THINKING

The car makes nearly 70 decisions per second on what’s safe and logical for the journey, such as taking the route with the least traffic. Rule #1, however, is to never collide with another object.

(RELATED: Google patents “Human Flypaper” In Case Self-Driving Cars Crash.)

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03: STEERING CLEAR

Sometimes, it’s okay to break lower-priority rules to observe more important ones. In this case, the car checks if it’s safe to drive around a stationary obstacle such as an accident site, even if it means dipping into the wrong lane for a few seconds.

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04: GETTING OFF

No more circling endlessly for parking spaces, or paying a chauffeur to find one. The car will park itself. After a hard day’s work, call on it to ferry you to dinner.

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