Driverless cars have been heading in our direction for quite some time now, and there has been a great deal of speculation around the ways in which drivers will manage the transition. A recent study by Juniper Research suggests that the Advanced Driving Assistance systems we already have, such as adaptive cruise control and automated braking, are preparing drivers for the ways they will have to adapt from driving a car to operating a driverless one.
Forecasters have predicted the number of self-driving cars on the roads will approach 20 million in the next ten years. It is expected that consumer adoption of the technology will take place from 2021 with the 20 million mark expected to be hit by 2025.
Vehicular autonomy is aimed at achieving maximum safety and convenience for drivers. The development of the technology has advanced to live trials with West Europe and North America set to become the first locations to witness driverless cars on the roads.
The research, entitled Autonomous Vehicles: Adoption, Regulation & Business Models 2015-2025 has identified the five most promising players in the driverless car sector after rating them on live trials, miles tested on the road, technology development, scale and scope of project and future potential and market opportunities. From top to bottom the results were Google, Volvo, Daimier, Tesla and Apple.
Autonomous driving will offer substantial benefits, such as greater road safety and increases in mobility and fuel economy. Every car and light vehicle equipped with the technology will likely reduce the incidents of collisions, pollution and energy consumption.
Autonomous vehicles could potentially provide increased mobility for the elderly, the disabled and the blind. Fully autonomous cars could also improve land use. The central business districts of major cities around the world dedicate a high percentage of space to parking. Self-driving cars could change this as they could drop people off and drive themselves to remote, satellite car parks.
Autonomous vehicles represent an incredible innovation for the automotive industry and will create an extensive range of automotive jobs. The arrival of the technology is expected to have a profound impact on motor trade recruitment, the industry, mobility and the economy overall.