President Obama wants to spend $4 billion over the next decade on autonomous-vehicle technology. General Motors and ride-share company Lyft plan to test self-driving taxis in a U.S. city within a year. Ford Motor and Audi are trying to beat Google to the punch.

“It isn’t pie in the sky. People are talking about 20 years. I think we'll have it in five years,” says Sergio Marchionne.

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