The thrill (that made me a tad ill) of letting go

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Graeme Lennox

Talking face to face with back-seat passengers is surreal for the driver and unnerving for those in the backANGELO MERENDINO/AFP/GETTY

Putting your life in the hands of a self-driving vehicle is a remarkable leap of faith. The first time I let a car take over motoring duties was “driving” a Tesla Model S on the M50 in March last year.

Seeing the vehicle’s AI super brain assume control of the steering and gently overtake an articulated lorry was thrilling and terrifying. When you begin to accept that computers armed with a suite of sensors (and unlikely to be distracted by a mobile phone) are better drivers than humans, you relax enough to take your eyes off the road, albeit briefly. Holding a face-to-face conversation with back-seat passengers is surreal for the driver and unnerving to say the least for the helpless souls in the back….

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