BOULDER, Colo. Combinations of advanced driver assistance features, such as adaptive speed control, automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning, are now being brought together in some 2014 vehicle models, making semi-autonomous driving a reality in many markets for the first time. Increasing production volumes and technology improvements, leading to cost reductions, are now making it feasible to install the multiple sensors necessary for such capabilities.
According to a new report from Navigant Research, sales of autonomous vehicles will grow from fewer than 8,000 annually in 2020 to 95.4 million in 2035, representing 75 percent of all light-duty vehicle sales by that time.
“Fully autonomous vehicles are unlikely to reach the market suddenly,” said David Alexander, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Instead, progressively more capable systems that can assume control of certain aspects of driving will be introduced gradually. The first features will most likely be self-parking, traffic jam assistance and freeway cruising well-defined situations that lend themselves to control by upgraded versions of today’s onboard systems.”
One of the main barriers to fully automated vehicles driving is the legal requirement in many countries that all vehicles must have a driver in control at all times. Some U.S. states and European countries have begun to issue licenses to companies to conduct testing of autonomous driving features on public highways under controlled conditions, according to the report. However, before full autonomous driving capability becomes available, liability issues must be clarified. Automakers will be reluctant to assume responsibility for not only supplying the vehicles, but also safely operating them.
For more details, and to view the “Autonomous Vehicles” report, click here.