(QZ) – Mankind has continually sought to travel beyond its limits. Humans have a natural urge to roam, explore, and push the boundaries of possibility.

This urge explains ancient upheavals like The Great Migration, when the human family pushed and fought to conquer new terrains. It also explains more recent innovative revolutions like self-driving cars, which promise to change the way we get from Point A to Point B.

But when we talk about autonomous vehicles, we often get mired in the day-to-day details: Will it make parallel parking easier? Will it reduce traffic congestion? Is it safe to take my hands of the wheel?

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