There are various forecasts which predict when autonomous driving cars will take over. In general, the expectations are set around the year 2020, which isn't far from now. And the aforementioned year signifies the market release of these vehicles. Would they take the market by storm or fail to do so is a matter of clairvoyance, but we will still try to see the options ahead.
Volkswagen's experts say that driverless cars will hit the market by 2019, while GM and Ford predict this to happen around 2020 ("or sooner"). Mercedes is being more safe in their predictions, saying autonomous vehicles would appear no sooner than 2025. By the way, Daimler-Benz has more than 30 years of research into autonomous driving, starting with the Eureka-Prometheus technology, developed in 1985. Anyway… there are even predictions that truly autonomous cars will populate roads by 2028-2032, and that by 2040 they would be 75 per cent of all vehicles out there.
While everyone else is still "predicting", not producing, companies like BMW are about to launch their first autonomous models. We are speaking about the iNext that is set to appear in 2021. In addition, Toyota's first self-driving car is to hit the market in 2020.
Elon Musk, who seems to be the major force (and the strongest one) behind this idea, expects an entirely autonomous Tesla to appear two years from now (June, 2016). Well, note that for Tesla's model to be "road-legal", governmental approval is required and it is possible it might take up to three years, so we are generally speaking about the same year of market appearance.
Cars, which can move without human intervention, and in contrast to Google's cars that need detailed 3D maps for local navigation, are currently in the making by Nissan's professionals. They are also expected to appear in 2020.
What do drivers say?
"How about NO" say more than 60 per cent of the drivers out there, when it come to autonomous driving. Although there are many benefits to self-driving vehicles (safer roads, efficient driving, etc), there are also various disadvantages at hand and they mainly about the safety, technology and trust of the "drivers". Surveys show that six in ten people worry about the safety matters of this type of vehicles. Another problem associated with autonomous cars is the technology mistrust.
So, there are two major factors which will influence the "taking-over" of autonomous vehicles: the first is the manufacturers side, with vehicles to start "flooding" the market in 2020. On the other hand are customers and passionate drivers, who would mainly distrust the innovative technology and want the control in their hands. And here we must put the attention on the passion that enthusiasts experience when driving a car. A major factor, that is excluded in the surveys.
Well, it is about time to witness how everything will eventually unfold… but I wouldn't keep my hands off the steering wheel for sure!
To cheer you up, the self-steering car in the video below provokes many laughs during a demonstration (jump to 1:15). Traveling at 40km/h the brakes seem to… not work the way that was expected. Note that no real kangaroos were harmed in this autonomous driving fail.
Video Source: YouTube
Images Source: Continental Tyres