Americans, by and large, are car people. Car owners, car drivers. Everybody knows it. Tom Wolfe knew it 50 years ago, writing about stock-car racing and the demolition derby, and it remains true today.

But Americans' longstanding relationship to automobiles — owning them, driving them — is set for a dramatic shift, as ride-sharing cements its place in American transportation habits and as automobile manufacturers, technology giants and ride-hailing companies make a concerted push toward self-driving vehicles.

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