I believe we’ll see at least 10 percent of all miles driven in Level 4 vehicles (fully autonomous in most situations) by 2030, with the initial deployment in large metro areas.
Autonomous Vehicles: The Impacts Are Huge, But How Quickly Will They Be Adopted?
Dennis Cuneo | Fisher Phillips
Over a century ago, in 1898, urban planners from around the world met in New York City to discuss urban transportation. Although the automobile had been invented over a decade earlier by the founders of Mercedes-Benz, it was still a novelty item, reserved for the rich. Railroads were the primary means of city-to-city transportation, and horses were the primary means of transportation within cities—as they had been since the time of the Romans.
The urban planners at the meeting assumed that horses would continue in their primary transportation role for years to come, and their focus turned to a growing problem—disposing of growing equine byproducts. In New York alone, horses deposited over 1200 tons of manure on city streets each day. The horse population was increasing, manure piles were growing, and cities were in danger of literally drowning in the odorous stuff.
At the time of this meeting, a relatively unknown engineer and tinkerer by the name of Henry Ford was working on his dream to make an affordable automobile. The sophisticated urban planners at the meeting had no idea that, in less than two decades, Ford’s Model T would revolutionize transportation and the horse manure problem would fade into oblivion.
Today, the auto industry is on the cusp of a new disruptive era with the convergence of four trends: electrification, connectivity, ride-sharing, and autonomous vehicles. Mary Barra, the CEO of General Motors, believes that we will see “more change in the auto industry over the next 5 years than we’ve seen in the last 50 years.”
Among the four trends, self-driving or autonomous vehicles are the most disruptive. Just as Henry Ford’s Model T changed transportation and the American way of life, autonomy will impact our daily lives in numerous ways:
- reduce accidents and deaths, which means fewer first responders, emergency medical services, and lawsuits;
- free up driving time for other activities, including using cars as mobile offices;
- eventually eliminate many of the jobs for those who drive for a living;
- change the business model of auto dealerships;
- open up parking lots to other development;
- eliminate the need for drivers’ licenses;
- eliminate distracted and impaired driving; and
- enhance mobility options for the elderly and disabled.
Autonomous vehicles have quick
The speed with which autonomous vehicles will
The Society of Automotive Engineers has classified autonomous vehicles
In a report prepared last year, the Boston Consulting Group predicted in a little more than a decade, by 2030, 25 percent of all miles driven in the U.S. will be in shared, electrified, autonomous vehicl
Both the BCG and McKinsey Reports caution that there are substantial technical, regulatory, and consumer acceptance obstacles to the widespread adoption of autonomousvehicles. In its chart linked above, McKinsey lays out two scenarios. Under its low-disruption scenario, the widespread adoption of fully autonomous vehicles
Nevertheless, companies ranging from Apple to Toyota are pouring billions of dollars into the development of autonomous vehicles. Over 100 companies in Silicon Valley are working on autonomous vehicles. Ford recently announced that it will spend $4 billion over the next five years to develop autonomous vehicles
The acknowledged leader in autonomous vehicle systems is Waymo, whose self-driving vehicles have amassed 8 million miles on public roads, plus over 5 billion miles in simulation. A chart prepared by Waymo and recently reprinted by Fortune shows Waymo’s rapid acceleration of autonomous testing: it took only a month for Waymo to go from 7 million self-driving miles to 8 million miles. Waymo’s autonomous vehicles
The drive to full autonomy is in full swing, from Silicon Valley to Detroit (not to mention China, Japan and Europe). Many have offered their opinion on timing, and as a long-time industry veteran, I will offer mine: I believe we’ll see at least 10 percent of all miles driven in Level 4 vehicles (fully autonomous
The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of RoboticsTomorrow
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