With congress now debating driverless car technology legislation and more automakers beginning to test their own driverless technology, it appears that autonomous vehicles are finally on their way to consumers. Unfortunately, legal barriers will stall the wide adoption of driverless cars for at leas another decade.
Market research firm Navigant Research today predicted that autonomous vehicles will begin to make up a significant portion of the car market by the year 2025. In the decade following, the technology will become pervasive, eventually ending up on 75% of all vehicles sold in the year 2035. This report matches the time frame seen an IEEE report released in 2012 that predicted 75% of all vehicles on the road will be autonomous by the year 2040.
“The introduction of satellite navigation systems has hastened the development of autonomous vehicle features, replacing the need for a massively expensive road infrastructure that was once thought to be a requirement for automated driving,” said David Alexander, senior research analyst at Navigant Research. “Already, automakers are incorporating intelligent onboard systems, such as self-parking, traffic jam assistance, and adaptive cruise control, in new and upcoming models.”
Though regulatory hurdles still pose a threat to the advancing technology, some individual states such as Nevada and California are already allowing limited testing of autonomous vehicles on their roads. Navigant and other market watchers believe the inherent safety of taken control from human drivers will quickly drive adoption of the technology once early hurdles are cleared.