Self-driving cars are still very much a technology of the future, however their presence in the here and now is growing. Alphabet’s Waymo is among the pioneers pushing self-driving vehicles out into real-world testing, and it has just revealed that its cars have passed the milestone of driving more than 4 million miles on public roads. The speed at which Waymo is accumulating its driving experience is accelerating nicely: the last million miles took six months, whereas the first million required a year and a half.

Waymo’s autonomous systems learn from a combination of experience on public roads and testing on the company’s private track, the latter of which is inspired by scenarios encountered out in an uncontrolled…

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