Dec. 16, 2023 10:00 am ET

A mass recall of Tesla’s Autopilot feature and crisis at General Motors’ autonomous-taxi business might give the impression that self-driving cars have hit a roadblock. In fact, the technology is on the cusp of much wider adoption. Just don’t expect it to change your life immediately—or the economics of making cars.

On Wednesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled more than two million Teslas equipped with Autopilot, which steers them automatically and matches their speed to surrounding traffic. But the news wasn’t as bad as the number makes it sound, either for Tesla’s profit or for its driver-assistance technology.

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