Manufacturers are now admitting that full autonomy of vehicles is at least 10 years away.
The theory that we can program a car to make complex decisions akin to the human brain is exactly that, just a theory.
All of the enthusiasm of a few years ago has somewhat petered out as manufacturers dig deep and invest more in R&D to move vehicle autonomy forward. For some parts of the world, vehicle autonomy may make a little sense. But for our part of the world – Western Canada with mountains and winter blizzards and variable conditions – it frankly makes no sense at all.
With all the sensors in the world, a vehicle with no cell service in a mountain blizzard is either going to kill the occupants or just quit and admit it has no reference to continue.
The two big questions, and the reason adoption will be further away than 10 years, IMHO, is that other technologies are advancing at a faster rate. By the time cars become autonomous, we likely will have several more choices in regard to how we undertake a journey so the market becomes more competitive.
The same problem that we see in the flying car market is apparent in the autonomous vehicle market. We deliver flying cars to clients next year, which really means that 10 years ago, municipal planners should have been thinking about the implication of the technology in their planning environment. Sadly, we are now playing catch up. For the autonomous vehicle world, that is much more complex, dedicated roads, shared roads, liability in at-fault accidents, driving licence requirements to own an autonomous car, etc.
My guess would be that we will not see anything change significantly for at least 15 years, but I know other people will have a different opinion.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.