With the automotive industry’s shift towards autonomous technology, there is serious potential for a self driving car future. Self driving cars utilize an array of technology, ranging from radar and lidar to GPS and computer vision. The technology forms are often combined together to allow for optimized control of the vehicle through sensory information.
Pros And Cons
There are many obstacles in the way of a self driving car future. Although self driving vehicle technology offers many benefits, it poses some challenges. Such obstacles could include insurance liability with both the automotive manufacturer and driver, software reliability and computer system hacking, legislative challenges including government regulations, economic issues due to loss of driving related jobs, general public acceptance and so forth.
On the other hand, there are many great aspects of self driving cars. Human driving errors account for a wide array of accidents due to factors such as poor reaction time, driving too close, and distracted driving. With self driving cars these errors have the potential to be reduced significantly or even eliminated saving thousands of lives every year!
Plus, on top of the safety aspects, there are also many positives in regards to the overall driving experience. For instance, rush hour traffic could see a reduction in traffic congestion with better managed traffic flow thanks to a reduction in safety gaps. A self driving cars future would also allow for a higher speed limit thanks to the well-rounded safety features of self driving vehicles. Drivers and passengers would be able to seek relief from driving and navigating. Drivers would also receive lower premiums on their car insurance. There would also be an overall increase in the ease to drive larger vehicles and a smoother ride.
Predictions For A Self Driving Car Future
The 2015 North American International Auto Show marked the debut of competing self driving car technology, with many manufacturers debuting various concept vehicles. The self driving car future is bright, with companies such as Mercedes-Benz and Mobileye planning to release hands-free driving technology for highway use in 2016. Nissan is hopeful that by 2018 the manufacturer will have a feature to allow autonomous driving with optimized manoeuverability on multi-lane highways.
Meanwhile, 2020 will see many manufacturers debuting further developments. Volvo is seeking to develop its vehicles to protect passengers from injury, and claiming they will be collision free. Large manufacturers such as Audi, Nissan, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, BMW, Toyota, Ford, and more, have all pledged that they expect to have vehicles ready for the consumer market that can drive themselves part of the time. Also set for 2020 is Google’s autonomous car project having remedied all current and outstanding issues if not prior.
A self driving car future is probable. According to Navigant Research autonomous vehicles will gain in popularity to represent 75% of light duty vehicle sales by 2035. Meanwhile, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) predict that 75% of all vehicles will be autonomous by 2040.
How People Really Feel About Self Driving Cars
Various public opinion surveys have been conducted on self driving cars. For instance, Accenture’s 2011 poll surveyed just over 2,000 people in the United States and United Kingdom. The study found that 49% of consumers would be comfortable using a self driving car.
In 2012 various studies were conducted. One was done by J.D. Power and Associates, which polled 17,400 vehicle owners. The results showed that 37% of the surveyed population would be interested in a fully autonomous vehicle. The study also showed that those results were lowered to only 20% if the technology would cost the consumer more than $3,000. Another 2012 study, this time by Puls, showed that out of 1,000 German drivers only 22% had a positive attitude towards self driving cars while 44% were skeptical. Almost a quarter of the drivers surveyed felt hostile towards the new technology, leaving 10% of the surveyed drivers undecided.
Cisco Systems conducted a survey in 2013 that looked at 1,500 consumers across 10 countries. The results showed that 57% of the consumers surveyed would be likely to ride in a vehicle entirely controlled by technology with no human driver required. Countries such as Brazil, India and China appeared to be the most trusting of self driving car technology.
Meanwhile, momentum for self driving car acceptance continues to increase. A 2014 University of Michigan study found that 68% of Australian consumers were at least slightly interested in owning a self driving car, but 57% of those surveyed had concerns about various aspects of the new technology including safety, system failures and overall reliability. Another 2014 survey conducted by Insurance.com found that over 75% of drivers would consider a self driving car, with 86% if their insurance would be cheaper.
While there are many pros and cons to autonomous vehicles, there is a growing interest in the consumer market for such technology to be made available. The self driving car future is inevitable; but in order achieve it, it will require broad self driving car acceptance by the consumer.