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What We Learned About Autonomous Cars at CES

LAS VEGAS—The hype machine known as the Consumer Electronics Show hummed a little softer this year for the auto sector, with fewer eye-popping promises. Two leading suppliers of autonomous technology for cars, Nvidia and Intel’s Mobileye, each made at least one announcement that some of their customers viewed as wishful thinking. The two companies, meanwhile, are clearly on a collision course as they develop self-driving car software.

What live demonstrations of autonomous vehicle technology at CES made clear was that self-driving cars for urban streets won’t be available for sale to the public for at least several years. Even then, their capabilities will be limited. Here are observations from the show, based on interviews with dozens of executives and research engineers who attended.

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