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Remember all those times when a sci-fi movie showed autonomous cars zipping about, and we all thought that was never happening? Almost overnight, this technology went from fantasy to reality.
But, we still haven’t spotted any self-driving vehicles on the roads. Does that mean that the self-driving cars will always remain a dream? Not at all!
As it turns out, not only are the vehicles a part of reality today, they might soon go mainstream! After all, partially self-driving cars are already here.
Complete autonomy in a vehicle still requires the development of sensor and computing technology that would make it possible. That isn’t to say we won’t be seeing them on the roads by 2021 at the very latest.
Below, we have gathered the latest details on the evolution of the autonomous market:
AI enters the picture, bringing a future of self-driving cars closer than ever
Nvidia revealed a new chip at CES 2018 that could add artificial-intelligence capabilities to the self-driving car paradigm. Known as Xavier, the company intends to partner with Volkswagen to further their progress in this area. The thing is though that Nvidia-VW collaboration isn’t a pioneer when it comes to developing AI for self-driving cars in the future. The automobile giant Toyota has already been making strides in this regard while working with MIT and Stanford. However, the former is the first to make an attempt to connect production-ready hardware with AI. We might soon be looking at cars that come with digital assistants and other convenience features!
Autonomous Vehicles – Novelty or Necessity?
The concept of autonomous cars seems more like a spoiled rich brat’s dream than a necessity to many people. However, that is only until they don’t consider the effect that mobiles have had on our lives. Yes, mobiles have made connecting with others much easier. On the other hand, though, they have also led to a mounting death toll when it comes to vehicular accidents! We have all been guilty of using our phones while behind the wheel of a car at one time or another. Mobility may have sold more phones than any other buzzword, and yet it has also become synonymous with a fatality.
Our busy schedules have made it almost impossible for us to be doing just one at a time. Even the push for the development of autonomous travel is just another attempt at multifunctionality. Imagine the tasks you could be crossing off your to-do list if you didn’t have to concentrate on the road during your daily commute. Distractions and the inescapable factor of human error could be a thing of the past. That’s because self-driving cars would be reacting to prevent roadway hazards in real-time. If this novel solution pans out, then we could be looking at 300,000 lives saved every decade. The fact that we would spend the duration of a commute doing other things than driving is just a bonus!
Besides saving lives, autonomous vehicles will also have other benefits. For instance, it is clear that the way we relate to automobiles has become more and more varied. Youngsters especially don’t want to be stuck behind a wheel when they can take advantage of a wider range of mobility services. Then there is also the matter of traffic congestion that every denizen of a big city is intimately familiar with. Not to mention what all those exhaust fumes are doing to the environment! Self-driving cars could end up improving the situation and result in better flowing traffic. Finally, parking spaces have swallowed whole swathes of cities. Space that could be used to house the homeless and welcome refugees is being used to park cars! Self-driving cars could be the solution to that problem, as well.
A Sure Success or WIP?
So far, the experts disagree when it comes to deciding the fate of autonomous cars. Some of them think it is going to be a huge market though others don’t. But imagine the lucrative side effects that the market could open, such as car loans, insurance, and service stations. The figures they rake in would go up to trillions of dollars. According to this forecast, more than 10 percent of the vehicles that would be purchased by 2030 could be autonomous! If you are still unsure about the future of the autonomous market and how the public would cars would receive the cars, consider this: vehicles that are completely reliable and safe. Now, who wouldn’t want that for themselves or their loved ones?
Automakers would soon be redefining their strategy in the coming years after the advent of autonomous cars. The following trends seem to be the best bet around the globe:
- Established automobile giants already have extensive customer bases – especially the affluent clients who will want autonomous vehicles of their own as soon as they are available. The automakers catering to these customers would likely be the first ones to add advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) to the vehicles they manufacture.
- Those of the second tier would include mobility operators, high-tech giants, and suppliers to the first-tier. They will gain a foothold in the autonomous market by introducing improved architectural options.
- This next tier includes players who will wait until the first and second tiers saturate the market with vehicles. The result would be a drop in the cost of technology being used in the production of autonomous cars. Then they will use the lull to invest in research for newer models and better features.
- The nonadopters, as the name suggests, won’t warm up to the market soon.
In conclusion, the autonomous vehicle industry has almost become a reality. Maybe, at first, we will only see the affluent segment of the population owning self-driving cars. Or, maybe, the first autonomous cars would hit the roads as taxis. When one looks at the varying degrees of built-in autonomy in cars that are already available in the market, that future doesn’t seem so distant after all. If you are wondering where I can Sell My Car and go buy a self-driving one of my own, then your time has arrived – or it will be here much sooner than you’d think!
Author Ashley Rosa
Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her at twitter: @ashrosa2