There are only a few things that everybody in Silicon Valley agrees on, and one of them is that driverless cars are the future. Companies everywhere are rushing towards this great prize, and that has never been as clear as in January when the valley was transfixed by a high-profile court case over the alleged theft of self-driving trade secrets featuring Uber and Waymo. Because of this unanimity of opinion, there is relatively little discussion of the obstacles that will stand in the way of self-driving cars. Between now and the day that they whizz around everywhere, what will go wrong? I found myself thinking about this the other night when I was cycling home and met a self-driving car trying to cross a six-way intersection. It was doing just fine, until it saw me. It suddenly pulled to a halt about 6m away, in the middle of the intersection, even though there was no one else around. I looked at it, it looked at me. My bike lights flashed. Eventually, it moved on, perhaps because i...

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