Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car - And How It Will Reshape Our World

Autonomy: The Quest to Build the Driverless Car - And How It Will Reshape Our World


View All Available Formats & Editions
Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


An automotive and tech world insider investigates the quest 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

We stand on the brink of a technological revolution. Soon, few of us will own our own automobiles and instead will get around in driverless electric vehicles that we summon with the touch of an app. We will be liberated from driving, prevent over 90% of car crashes, provide freedom of mobility to the elderly and disabled, and decrease our dependence on fossil fuels. 

Autonomy is the story of the maverick engineers and computer nerds who are creating the revolution. Longtime advisor to the Google Self-Driving Car team and former GM research and development chief Lawrence D. Burns provides the perfectly-timed history of how we arrived at this point, in a character-driven and heavily reported account of the unlikely thinkers who accomplished what billion-dollar automakers never dared.

Beginning with the way 9/11 spurred the U.S. government to set a million-dollar prize for a series of off-road robot races in the Mojave Desert up to the early 2016 stampede to develop driverless technology, Autonomy is a page-turner that represents a chronicle of the past, diagnosis of the present, and prediction of the future—the ultimate guide to understanding the driverless car and navigating the revolution it sparks.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062661128
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/28/2018
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 634,833
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Lawrence D. Burns served as corporate vice president of research, development and planning at General Motors, where he oversaw GM’s advanced technology and innovation programs as well as corporate strategy. He was also a professor of engineering practice at the University of Michigan and led the Program for Sustainable Mobility at Columbia University. He has served as an adviser to the Google self-driving car project (now Waymo) since 2011 and is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering. He lives in Franklin, Michigan.

Christopher Shulgan is a writer who specializes in collaborations with world-renowned experts. His eight books include the bestseller The One-Minute Workout: Science Shows a Way to Get Fit That’s Smarter, Faster, Shorter. He lives in Toronto.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Problem with Cars 1

Part I The Turning Point

Chapter 1 Darpa's Grand Challenge 13

Chapter 2 A Second Chance 45

Chapter 3 History Happens in Victorville 67

Part II The New Dna Of The Automobile

Chapter 4 A Fish Out of Water 101

Chapter 5 Epiphanies 121

Chapter 6 Close Only Counts in Horseshoes 137

Part III The Age Of Automobility

Chapter 7 The 101,000-Mile Challenge 159

Chapter 8 The Seeds of Change 195

Chapter 9 The $4 Trillion Disruption 215

Part IV The Tipping Point

Chapter 10 The Stampede 237

Chapter 11 Driving Opportunity 287

Chapter 12 Human Factors 305

Epilogue: The Quest Goes On 317

Acknowledgments 329

A Note on Sources 331

Index 347

Customer Reviews