Business Insider presents ‘Autonomous World’ — an extensive look at the future of self-driving cars

Within a few years, autonomous vehicles will be everywhere.

You and I won’t be driving, unless we want to for sport. Kids won’t need to get their driver’s licenses. Cities won’t have to provide public parking. Street signs and gas stations may disappear.

If this sounds like Silicon Valley drivel, it’s not. The technology needed for self-driving cars to go mainstream has already been built.

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GM CEO Mary Barra
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General Motors

Danielle Muoio, Business Insider’s transportation reporter, rode in one of Uber’s self-driving cars in September.

“It’s truly incredible watching a car do everything from handling left turns at intersections to climbing up hills with ease without any input from the driver,” she wrote. “The coolest thing about it was that it quickly feels relatively normal.”

Henry Blodget, Business Insider’s CEO, had a similar experience. He was chauffeured around in a Ford driverless car and proclaimed that it “takes all of 10 seconds” to realize the car is a much better driver than you.

When driverless cars become widespread, they will change everything from the infrastructure of our cities to the business models of Fortune 500 giants.

“History suggests that these things have a dramatic impact on all sorts of things in ways you don’t predict,” Chris Dixon, a partner at famed Silicon Valley venture firm Andreessen Horowitz told me in July. “I don’t think that anyone in 1905 was predicting fast food and the suburbs and big box retail and all of these other things that happened [as the result of cars].”

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Skye Gould/Business Insider

So, what will the autonomous future look like?

Over the past few months, Business Insider has interviewed key auto executives, engineers and researchers to answer that question. The result is a first-of-its-kind Business Insider special series, led by our deputy editor Ashley Lutz and senior editor Dan Bobkoff.

The articles, which will roll out over the following weeks, will live on this dedicated section of Business Insider.

Highlights from the series include:

    An exclusive interview with General Motors CEO Mary Barra about how autonomous vehicles will disrupt legacy car companies, and how Barra is preparing for them. A discussion with Lyft founder and president John Zimmer. Zimmer discusses the company’s autonomous car network ambitions and his global rollout plan. A look at how self-driving cars see the world, explained by engineers. Business Insider’s Cadie Thompson explores how trustworthy driverless vehicles will be by speaking to engineers who are programming them. How hackable are self-driving cars? Business Insider’s transportation reporter Danielle Muoio speaks to the people who are trying to plug security holes before nefarious hackers can get in. The future of car ownership, and what will replace it.How driverless cars will change cities, roads, and where we live. What will cities look like without the need for gas stations or parking lots? What will happen to home prices in urban areas when parking spots no longer are necessary?

And much more.

To kick off the series, check out Cadie Thompson’s interview with GM CEO Mary Barra. And explore the entire series, here.