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Self-driving cars: An evolution

Self-driving cars are becoming a reality - but not one without some questions over safety and technology. See some of the self-driving cars as they came through development and the questions behind some of the vehicles now on the road.

No hands in this Audi

Audi engineer Kaushik Raghu demonstrates the capabilities of a self-driving model on July 15, 2016, by taking his hands off the steering wheel while driving on I-395 in Arlington, Va. Safety experts say the development of self-driving cars over the coming decade depends on an unreliable assumption by most automakers that the humans in them will be ready to step in and take control if the car's systems fail.

ProPilot in a Nissan Serena

The Nissan Serena minivan self-driving prototype is ready for a demonstration on July 12, 2016. The vehicle is quipped with a technology the company calls ProPilot, which relies on a single camera in the back of the driver's rearview mirror. The car can then follow the vehicle ahead, maintaining a safe distance that the driver sets.

A death while driving on Autopilot

The inside of a self-driving Tesla vehicle is on display in a Brooklyn  showroom on July 5, 2016. A similar Tesla vehicle was involved in a fatal crash in Florida on May 7, 2016. Driver Joshua Brown, 40, of Canton, Ohio, was killed when his Tesla with Autopilot collided with a turning tractor trailer and then went out of control, hitting a fence and a utility pole.


A Renault-Nissan self-driving prototype

A prototype of a self-driving Nissan Leaf is on display Jan. 7, 2016, at the Renault-Nissan Alliance facility in Sunnyvale, Calif. The Renault-Nissan Alliance plans to introduce 10 self-driving models. No time period was reported.

No-hands driving gets Tokyo test

Nissan Motor Co. general manager Tetsuya Iijima takes his hands off of the steering wheel of a Nissan self-driving prototype vehicle on Nov. 3, 2015, during a test drive on the streets of in Tokyo. The vehicle has what the company calls "intelligent driving" features that can navigate intersections and brake without crashing.

Tesla' self-driving Model S on display

A Tesla Model S, which features Autopilot self-driving capabilities, is on display on Sept. 15, 2015 at an auto show in Frankfurt, Germany. About the same time, Consumer Reports magazine called the company out for calling it's self-driving technology Autopilot. It promotes a dangerous assumption that the vehicle can drive itself.

Even room for the dog?

Riders, the dog included, prepare to take a ride in  Google's self-driving prototype car  on May 13, 2015 on the Google company campus in Mountain View, Calif.

Ready for a demonstration

The two-seater prototype of Google's self-driving car is shown on May 13, 2015 in Mountain View, Calif.

Two-seater self-driving Google car

The two-seater prototype of Google's self-driving car is shown on May 13, 2015 in Mountain View, Calif.

A mini self-driving model

A mini-model of the  Google self-driving car motors through a parking lot at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California on Jan. 8, 2015.

Mercedes self-driving concept

The Mercedes-Benz F 015 concept car was on display in January 2015 at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Cruising in a Google car

Google's self-driving car takes a test drive on May 13, 2014, near the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif. About the same time, California began considering a draft of rules that slows the public's access to such cars until regulators are confident the technology is safe.

On the road in California

California Gov. Jerry Brown, front left, rides in a driverless car to a bill signing on Sept. 25, 2012, that allowed testing of self-driving cars on public roads in the state. On June 18, 2015, the state reported six crashes on public roads involving self-driving car prototypes.