A few miles later, we arrive back at the museum. Since the car began driving, Espinosa has done little but stare out the windshield and answer questions about his experiences on the road. â€œIt’s become this soothing thing,â€ he says of driving. Earlier, Urmson had showed a picture that ran in a 1956 issue of Boysâ€™ Life magazine. A group of friends sits in a convertible with the top down, talking and laughing as the car drives itself. It’s what driving would look like if it were relaxing, instead of frustrating and too often deadly. It’s what Espinosa was feeling as the car ferried him around town. â€œIt’s a beautiful vision,â€ Urmson had said of the picture in the magazine. As I step out of the Lexus, I’m amazed how real that vision is starting to seem.
I don’t trust cars to drive themselves, but I’m willing to give ’em a chance. Can I rent one?