Commentary

22 Million Self-Driving Cars Coming, But Down The Road

Anyone overly concerned about dealing with self-driving cars while they are out and about may have plenty of time before having to worry.

That doesn’t mean that connected cars aren’t disrupting the automotive ecosystem, allowing the car and its occupants to be directly connected to the Internet, enabling automated links to other connected devices, like smartphones, tracking devices, other vehicles and even home appliances, based on a new study.

There will be 15 million self-driving cars produced in 2025, according to the study ‘On Track with Self-Driving Vehicles 2.0’ by Juniper Research. The worldwide installed base of autonomous cars at that time is projected to be more than 22 million.

By 2020, still a few years away, there will be a few thousand self-driving vehicles, according to Juniper.

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There are five official levels of autonomous car classifications, defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Society of Automotive Engineers. They are:

  • Level 0 – The driver completely controls the vehicle all the time.
  • Level 1 – Individual vehicle controls are automated and the driver must be ready to take control at any time. Automated systems include parking assistance with automated steering and lane-keeping assistance.
  • Level 2 – Automated system controls acceleration, braking and steering and can deactivate immediately upon takeover by the driver.
  • Level 3 – Within known, limited environments, the driver can safely turn their attention from driving tasks. The car will sense when conditions require the driver to retake control and provide enough time for it. This is the eyes-off-the-road stage.
  • Level 4 – Vehicle performs all functions for an entire journey with the driver not controlling the vehicle at any time. The vehicle can travel with or without a driver.

For that last one, the automotive engineers society suggests that automated systems can control the vehicle in all but a few environments, such as severe weather. The industry group also identifies one additional final stage, where no human intervention is needed other than to set a destination and start the system with the vehicle being capable of driving to any location where it is legal to drive.

Marketing and messaging to people in the car will come at the later stages, especially when watching the road is not necessary.

Juniper notes that there are some dependencies for this to happen, such as reliability of technology, high accuracy maps and software algorithms.

And then these cars will need buyers.

 

6 comments about "22 Million Self-Driving Cars Coming, But Down The Road".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, November 29, 2016 at 12:08 p.m.

    "..these cars will need buyers" suggests that you think few may want to buy them. You seem to be forgetting about insurance discounts. A driverless car is less risky to the insurer, so the rates should go down for buyers of driverless cars. Less likely to drive dangerous speeds or ignore conditions or inebriation. The similar is true for certain high-performance cars that drive 200 mph: You can buy them but good luck affording the insurance. State laws may require driverless vehicles, too. In the case of driverless cars, insurance companies might even create a surcharge for human-control vehicles rather than a discount for computer-controlled. The trucking industry is headed in this direction.

  2. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, November 29, 2016 at 12:17 p.m.

    Was not actually suggesting that, Douglas. Projections are that the actual buyers of many of the cars will not be individuals buying them for personal usage as ridesharing increases along with other car services. As for the trucking industry activity, we have regulalry documented that here, as you likely know if a regular reader.

  3. Bob Gordon from The Auto Channel replied, November 29, 2016 at 5:07 p.m.

    Autonomous Driving May Kill The Automobile Industry And Our Freedom Of Mobility

    http://www.theautochannel.com/news/2015/11/26/162527-autonomous-driving-may-kill-automobile-industry.html

  4. R MARK REASBECK from www.USAonly.US , November 29, 2016 at 10:35 p.m.

    Bob Gordon>
    That was a a realistic column, and the comments were from people who think things through.
    Where we are at is the car designers of today, never had real cars, and grew up playing with transformers and stupid video games.  So the techno-lemmings, think that just because you can develop technology, doesn't make it right for all scenarios.  I'm a Boomer. I go for drives, just to drive.  I have a Pink 55 Studebaker 2 door wagon with a 350 Chevy.  I don't have to have a destination.....................because of the enjoyment of the FREEDOM of the dirive.  These folks who think this offers freedom, don't get it.   Your whole life will be tracked and put into data bases.  owe the IRS, shut your car down, warrant?  same thing. Contrary  to what was mentioned about the insurance companies giving discounts.  My money says the opposite.  I say no matter what you do with your piles of plastic circuit boards, there will be a hacker out there uttering these words, "Watch 'is"    Hey we can't even get "6 Fail Safe " computer programs to keep 2 trains from colliding ON THE SAME TRACK  (Germany Last summer)
    The love affair with automobile is dead to younger drivers. They grew up with throw away cars like Kia's, Honda's, Corolla's and hyundai's .  No wonder , they were just transportation,that sounded like angry hornets.  Consequently, there is no American car brand loyalty anymore, it's just transportation.  One more thing, with self drivinf cars, you'll never see another 5-speed manual  transmission, and trucks, all automatics...................say it ain't so.

  5. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, November 30, 2016 at 5:26 p.m.

    These projections are as meaninless as all projections. Just saw this note on another page:  "I've got an article right here in front of me that claims "Digital Assistants to Bring in $623B by 2020."

    Important to remember that was someone's fantasy - drive by investors who wanted it to be true. But just wanting it to be true and getting Forrester (or someone like Juniper) to predict it doesn't mean it WILL be true...

  6. Chuck Martin from Chuck Martin replied, November 30, 2016 at 7:28 p.m.

    They do, however, at least point to directions based on current knowledge, Doug. Although, to your point, projecting anything IoT related to 2025 is a bit of a challenge.

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