Auto Industry Predicts 54 Million Self-Driving Cars by 2035

By | January 02, 2014
Automated vehicles have captured the attention of consumers and automakers alike. While the introduction of these new vehicles into the market may be slow, IHS Automotive believes that by 2035, we can expect to see around 54 million of these cars driving around. The company has also predicted that purely autonomous vehicles, those without any driver controls, will be on the roads by 2030. Not only are automakers working with this new technology, Google Inc. has joined the game, and has already logged over 500,000 miles in its self-driving research vehicles, thanks to new laws that allow testing. Only a handful of states have approved laws for testing these vehicles, including California, Nevada, Florida, and Michigan, while testing in Pennsylvania is underway without any legislation. This new technology could be the answer that will save lives and money. "There are several benefits from self-driving cars to society, drivers and pedestrians. Accident rates will plunge to near zero for SDCs, although other cars will crash into SDCs, but as the market share of SDCs on the highway grows, overall accident rates will decline steadily. Traffic congestion and air pollution per car should also decline because SDCs can be programmed to be more efficient in their driving patterns," said Egil Juiliussen, principal analyst for infotainment and autonomous driver assisted systems at HIS Automotive, in the study.
Even though there are many benefits with this type of technology, there are also risks. Consumers will be relying heavily in the software operating their vehicles, and glitches are known to happen with all forms of technology. This could endanger any passengers if the self-driving car were to malfunction while operating. Another concern is security. As these cars are basically giant computers, hackers can gain access to them and potentially cause more issues. There's still time for all issues, good and bad, to be worked out as self-driving cars aren't expected to hit our streets until 2020. The first generation of these cars will require drivers to monitor conditions at all times, while the car will act as if it's on "auto pilot." Source: Detroit News