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Self-driving cars no longer sci-fi fantasy Published: May 20, 2014

Self-driving cars no longer belong to the sci-fi realm of "The Jetsons" as Google’s prototype shows. In fact, research today says they hold huge market potential although they’re not likely to be completely autonomous anytime soon, according to USA TODAY.

In 2030, they’ll create an $87 billion opportunity for carmakers and technology developers, with software emerging as the biggest winner, says a report by Lux Research, a Boston-based technology research firm. Cars with relatively modest “Level 2″ features such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and collision avoidance braking, will then account for 92% of autonomous vehicles.

More advanced “Level 3″ cars that use high-resolution maps — as demonstrated by Google and Mercedes Benz — will gain only an 8% share, but no fully autonomous “Level 4″ car will likely be on the road in 2030, the report says.

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