Autonomous vehicles will be available in 12 years, experts say – will you be buying one in 2035?
Experts have predicted that it is unlikely we’ll see fully automated cars that require no human interaction on the roads until 2035.
Despite autonomous vehicle’s exciting public imagination and inspiring unprecedented collaborations between carmakers and tech innovators, there are challenges manufacturers face – including ones related to software reliability and cybersecurity.
What’s more is that these vehicles still face huge challenges, including regulatory, legal and security hurdles that they need to be overcome before being rolled out.
According to a prediction by research firm GlobalData, the AV industry will not develop fully self-driving car until 2035.
The company outlined in a report that they expect production timelines to be ‘pushed back over the next few years’.
The major difference between level 3 and 4 autonomy is that level 4 self driving cars can intervene if there is a system failure or things go wrong. This compares to a level 0 vehicle, which is what most drivers on the roads use today; as they are manually controlled
The research firm does believe that level 3 AV vehicles will be deployed in the middle of the decade (File image)
Cadillac expands its vision of personal autonomous future mobility with the InnerSpace concept. But according to a prediction by research firm GlobalData, the AV industry will not develop fully self-driving car until 2035 (File image)
The Baidu Apollo RT6 Fully Autonomous Vehicle. The semiconductor sector has also been heavily affected, and this is something the AV industry depends on to operate (File image)
The report reads: ‘We expect the timelines for deploying fully autonomous vehicles (Level 5) to be pushed back over the next few years’.
It adds: ‘Companies that have made big bets on the technology will continue to move toward commercialisation, but it could be closer to 2035 before we begin to see any meaningful deployments of fully self-driving vehicles.’
A Level 5 vehicle relates to one that does not require any human interaction, meaning that when they are developed and eventually deployed, they won’t have any steering wheels or pedals.
And in reality, many pieces still need to fall into place before autonomous vehicles become a normal sighting on the roads.
However, that being said, the research firm does believe that level 3 AV vehicles will be deployed in the middle of the decade.
And following this, level 4’s will come into the market quickly.
The major difference between level 3 and 4 autonomy is that level 4 self driving cars can intervene if there is a system failure or things go wrong.
This compares to a level 0 vehicle, which is what most drivers on the roads use today; as they are manually controlled.
And according to the firm, the development of AVs is also being slowed down.
This is due to rising inflation and the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which means that demand and input costs have been affected.
EXPLAINED: The 6 Levels of Vehicle Autonomy
Level 0: What most drivers use today – manually controlled vehicles
Level 1: Some drivers use these today. This kind of vehicle features a single automated system for driver assistance, such as steering or accelerating (cruise control)
Level 2: This kind of car can be controlled both steering and accelerating/decelerating. Tesla Autopilot and Cadillac (General Motors) Super Cruise systems both qualify as Level 2
Level 3: Level 3 vehicles have ‘environmental detection’ capabilities and can make informed decisions for themselves, such as accelerating past a slow-moving vehicle
Level 4: Level 4 vehicles can operate in self-driving mode
Level 5: Level 5 vehicles do not require human attention. They won’t even have steering wheels or acceleration/braking pedals
The semiconductor sector – the companies engaged in the design and fabrication of semiconductors and semiconductor devices, such as transistors and integrated circuits – has also been heavily affected, and this is something the AV industry depends on to operate.
GlobalData say: ‘Demand is focused on GPUs and custom AI accelerators, both for the vehicles themselves and the manufacturer’s data centers where the underlying AI models are trained with large amounts of data.’
And according to GlobalData, a report published in January 2022 revealed that autonomous vehicles are currently more hype than substance, given the significant technological, financial, and regulatory barriers to their widespread use.
Speaking about this, Amrit Dhami, thematic analyst at GlobalData, said: ‘By 2035, 5.1 million ‘level 4’ AVs – AVs that can drive themselves only within a geofenced area – and 2.7 million level 5 AVs – AVs that can handle all driving tasks in all circumstances and environments – will be on the world’s roads.
‘However, their production will slow down while automakers grapple with regulatory and technological hurdles.
‘Both level 4 and 5 AVs are far harder to develop than level 3s, which are AVs that allow the driver to take their eyes off the road at times, and level 2s, which are AVs that involve autonomous control of steering and acceleration under human supervision.’
Dhami continued: ‘The technological leap between level 2 and level 3 automation has some automakers questioning whether aiming for level 3 is worth it.
‘Given the high financial and time costs, it may be worth investing purely in driverless level 4 and 5 vehicles in the long run.
‘GlobalData predicts that automakers will focus on level 2 semi-autonomous capabilities for now, including auto-braking and blind spot detection, which offer a clearer return on investment than fully self-driving cars until technological and regulatory hurdles are addressed.’
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