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Self-driving car a breakthrough for handicapped

But US state laws require cars to have manual system for back-up driver in case of emergency

New York

THE self-driving car, embraced as a stress-reducing convenience for harried drivers and a potential advance in road safety, could also prove to be a life-changing breakthrough for many people with disabilities, granting them a new measure of independence.

While much of the necessary technology is well along in development, those awaiting vehicles that can provide unassisted transportation will have to be patient.

Self-driving cars have been the stuff of science fiction and experimentation since the early days of the automobile. In 1925, Time magazine carried an article about a car that cruised New York City streets without a driver, guided by radio control. The General Motors Futurama exhibition...

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