Video: Coming Face-to-Nothing with a Driverless Vehicle

Alexis Madrigal checks out Audi's self-piloting cars.

I've heard and read a lot about driverless cars. I've read New Aesthetic essays and listened to Google engineers. I've pondered whether they'll be a net environmental disaster or quite the opposite.

But I'd never had one driving towards me in a parking lot and looked into the driver's seat and seen ... Nothing. I had a very tiny moment of panic that I quickly squelched, gripping my DSLR a little tighter. It was a profoundly weird feeling that I want to share with you. One day (soon?) you'll almost undoubtedly be faced with an invisible robot intelligence maneuvering a vehicle. May this video, which I shot at the Volkswagen Group's Electronics Research Laboratory, help you prepare.

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