Half of U.S. Car Sales to be Driverless by 2032


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Google and car manufacturers are continuing to test new self-driving car technologies. At the same time, lawmakers are struggling to regulate the technology while reassuring the public that vehicles will actually be safer without humans behind the wheel. There won't be much time to get ahead of this technology, though, if new predictions are accurate.

Analyst firm ABI Research today predicted that more than 10 million "robotic" vehicles will ship in North America in the year 2032. That would represent around half of the vehicles shipping in North America. Also, the first commercial self-driving cars will show up in the U.S. starting one decade from now.

“While the technological feasibility of autonomous vehicles is being demonstrated by Google, Audi, Volvo, Bosch, and Continental, obstacles such as high costs and lack of legislation remain," said Dominique Bonte, practice director at ABI. "On the other hand, the benefits of autonomous vehicles in terms of safety, cost savings, efficiency, and positive impact on the economy, are driving research and development efforts globally. With ADAS-type assistance features already being implemented on a wide scale, the next phase of autonomous co-pilot type vehicles will materialize in this decade. Fully autonomous, self-driving, robotic vehicles will appear 10 years from now.”

ABI's new report on autonomous vehicles predicts that automation will be implemented in vehicles gradually over the next decade. It also states that, in addition to the new legislation needed to regulate driverless cars, lawmakers will have to address current safety legislation (such as texting-while-driving bans) that will be made obsolete by the technology.

(Image courtesy Steve Jurvetson/Wikimedia Commons)