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GM CEO: Robot Cars Coming, but Don't Hold Your Breath (Video)

It will be a journey, Mary Barra says.

Asa Mathat for Re/code

Will we eventually see cars that fully drive themselves on the road? And if so, when?

That was the question that Walt Mossberg posed to GM CEO Mary Barry at the Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. “I absolutely see it,” she said. But when asked for a realistic time frame: “It will be a journey.”

She didn’t say how long it might take, but implied that she believes the wait will be long.

There’s a lot that has to happen both in the areas of infrastructure on the roads to support cars that drive themselves, and new laws at the federal and state level. “Autonomous is a word that scares a ton of people,” Barra said. “It’s coming but there’s a ton that needs to come together.”

In the shorter term she said consumers are more interested in “intelligent driving systems” that allow drivers to take their hands off the wheel and their feet off the pedals more than they do now. One feature includes a “super cruise” mode that’s coming to Cadillac cars next year.

“It’s farther out than some people are predicting.” And by people, she means Google, which is predicting self-driving cars will be widely seen on the roads within five years.

This article originally appeared on

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