The Road To Self-Driving Cars: But First, Traffic And Weather

There’s still a great distance between the somewhat smart car of today and the driverless car of the future.

But the relationship between people and their cars is on a path of evolution as vehicle technology melds more into The Internet of Things.

Over the next decade, the auto industry will be faced with empowered consumers, changing mobility models and a transforming ecosystems, according to a new global study.

Even the meaning of the word driving is expanding beyond steering a vehicle, according to the IBM study, which comprised a survey of 16,000 consumers in the top 16 automotive countries.

The car of the future will know who’s in the car, make decision for them and even become a trusted companion.

However, many people driving late model cars realize that much of the in-vehicle technology today is still somewhat complicated and not easy for everyone to use. Much of it is hardly intuitive.

But the study did identify some characteristics of the car of the future.

In a separate survey of 175 global industry executives, IBM research identified six self-enabling innovations that 80% of the execs said would be a key differentiator by 2025.

Consumers were then asked which of the six aspects interested them. Here’s the result:

  • 59% -- Self-healing. Vehicles fix and optimize themselves without human intervention based on certain events or situations. These cars would heal small paint scratches within an hour and  deeper scratches within a week.
  • 55% -- Self-socializing. Vehicles connect with other vehicles and the infrastructure around them to share information and solutions. This could be connecting with traffic lights and then suggesting the optimal speed to reach the light when it’s green.
  • 54% -- Self-learning. Using cognitive capabilities to learn behaviors, such as learning who is in the car and surrounding environment.
  • 54% -- Self-driving. Cars become highly automated, with some areas of limited autonomous function in controlled environments.
  • 51% -- Self-configuring. Individual mobility personas contain necessary, driver-authorized digital information about individuals to provide the desired, personalized vehicle experience.
  • 49% -- Self-integrating. Like other smart devices, the vehicle will be an integrated component of The Internet of Things.

However, not all markets are the same.

For example, in growth markets, such as Russia, China, Thailand and India, 66% of consumers are drawn to self-driving cars. This compares to 41% in mature markets, such as the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Germany.

Despite all the future technology for cars coming, the majority (55%) of consumers today want information services such as weather and traffic delivered in their car.

There’s a long road ahead.




4 comments about "The Road To Self-Driving Cars: But First, Traffic And Weather".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, January 14, 2016 at 9:20 a.m.

    The more the technology in the car is operator-controlled, rather than automated, the less attention the operator will put on the actual driving. Thus, the need for self-driving cars. People will finally come to the realization that you cannot text and drive, or X=any task and drive.

    As someone who still prefers a manual transmission, I don't look forward to this future. But I'm sure it's coming. The stumbling block will be accounting for partial adoption, the mix of self-driving and human-controlled vehicles on the road. That includes trucks.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 14, 2016 at 9:35 a.m.

    Greeat point, Jonathan, the partial adoption issue will be huge.

  3. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , January 14, 2016 at 10:27 a.m.

    What happens to NASCAR when all this self driving non-sense takes a serious hold? OK, that's tongue -in-cheek, BUT, The Facebook generation isn't interested in a car to get to point B from point A. So if you want a self driving vehilce , take a flippin' bus, cab, limo or helicopter so you can check out the lunch photos that someone posted on FB.  What could possibly go wrong with cars being  on the same "grid" as the traffic lights?  Driving has always been a participation activity, but with this new direction, even a lone driver in a car will just be a passenger.  Seeing a suvey where 30% of the participants could do without their car before their smartphone is very troubling.  This self absortion generation can't be bothered with anything that doesn't involve a picture of themeselves.  Maybe it's because the auto industry lost  any qualified design ideas and have resorted to copy-cat , silver colored, boring  piles of plastic, but hey it's got WIFI, a demanded standard feature.  I will continue to enjoy my 55 Studebaker, and will be on the look-out for the Google/Apple Clown Cars and "steer clear" of them so we don't meet by accidnet.

  4. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin, January 14, 2016 at 10:46 a.m.

    Intereing points, Mark, not to mention that different geographies have very different needs, such as cars vs. mass transit.

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