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When Can The Public Expect Driverless Cars To Be On The Roads

Although there are many development efforts underway, the first Level 4 cars to come to the market, probably won’t be sold directly to consumers. Instead, they’ll be put into service with ride-hailing companies like Uber Technologies and Lyft: They’ll be automated taxis, limited (at least at first) to well-mapped cities.

There are a number of efforts underway to bring a Level 4 system to market in the near future. Among the most prominent:

Assuming there are no legal obstacles, the first cars with Level 4 systems could start to show up at dealerships within a couple of years, but it may take longer. Either way, it’s likely that you’ll be able to ride in one before you can buy one, by 2019 if not earlier. And it’s also likely that full-blown Level 5 vehicles are still many years away.