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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »

Autonomous robotic vehicles destined to appear in the next decade

August 27th, 2013 by Susan Smith

Readers may remember “Herbie” the runaway “autonomous” car in the Fred MacMurray movie of many years ago that created entertaining havoc.  According to ABI Research, in North America, the first driverless vehicles will appear in the beginning of the next decade, evolving to more than 10 million robotic vehicles shipping in 2032.

Although the goal of companies such as Google (developer of the car above), Bosch, Continental, Audi and Volvo who are developing autonomous vehicles is not to create naughty Herbies, the cost of ownership and lack of legislation are putting a damper on things. Ultimately, there will be great gains to having autonomous vehicles in terms of costs savings, efficiency, safety, that are currently behind the research and development efforts. Researchers are working on the next phase of autonomous “co-pilot” type vehicles, due to appear in the next decade. Already there are ADAS-type assistance features implemented in cars today, and people in the future may not choose to own the cars of the future and instead share cars.

VP and practice director of ABI Research, Dominique Bonte, said that autonomous driving technology represents a long term vision and forms a framework for automotive strategy development. The current focus on passive safety functionality, such as emergency calling, integrated smartphone-based infotainment, advanced HMI addressing driver distraction, and UBI will become less relevant as the gradual move towards active safety and automation renders driver-centric features at least partially redundant. This will require changing attitudes from governments favoring V2X mandates and autonomous driving legislation and subsidization over eCall mandates, HMI guidelines, and banning portable devices.

The new ABI Research’s “Autonomous Vehicles” study covers autonomous vehicle segmentation, use cases and applications, technology, players and solutions, impact and benefits, challenges and issues, and analogies and lessons learnt from other industries such as aviation and rail. The report also provides forecasts for autonomous vehicle shipments and technology value per type and region for the next 20 years.

The study is part of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Research Service .

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