May 13, 2015

Trillions at Stake in Commercial Development of Driverless Cars

By Penny Swift

Commercial Development of Driverless Cars

An international race is on to develop driverless cars that will free our cities from congestion, and there are trillions of dollars at stake.

With Google currently seen to be leading the race to develop driverless cars commercially, eight or more car manufacturers have made it clear that they are also in it to win it, or at least share in the enormous potential profits. These include Audi, Daimler, Delphi, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, BMW, Tesla, and Volvo.

A recent Forbes news report that names interested vehicle manufacturers also points out that “trillions are at stake.” With new vehicle sales in the US accounting for a mere 19 percent of global auto sales, the potential is astounding – especially since income relating to the annual US automotive industry tops more than $2.5 trillion. National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) figures show that new vehicles accounted for $464.3 billion in 2014 alone.

The same report also claims that driverless taxis would disrupt the US car rental trade by some $26 billion. This could impact dramatically on public transportation as a whole, even as frontrunners developing driverless cars will be sure to make money, and lots of it.

At the same time, it will also depend whether “driverless” cars are completely unmanned or not. While Google is aiming for totally autonomous, driverless cars, Tesla, for example, has said it will focus on autopilot and release drivers from “tedious tasks” rather than get rid of the driver completely.

Another issue is safety.

Self-Driving Cars and Accidents

Google announced this week that the self-driving cars it has been testing in California – on the open road, including highways – have been involved in a total of 11 accidents during the past six years. The company maintains that all accidents were “minor” and that the cars weren’t the cause of any of the accidents. The claim is that other drivers crashed into driverless cars (so not my fault).

According to Google’s director of the self-driving program, Chris Urmson, rear-end crashes account for the most accidents in the US, “and often there’s little the driver in front can do to avoid getting hit.

This might sound minimal, but in real terms, these accidents involved four of the 48 self-driving cars on Californian roads (8.3 percent), and they all happened in the past eight months since it became mandatory to report all accidents being tested on public roads. One car belonged to Delphi (that supplies parts), and the others to Google.

Whatever the impact (physical or financial) companies that don’t want to get rid of drivers totally have some confidence that drivers can prevent accidents. This becomes a real issue when conditions aren’t perfect, says Pat Bassett, vice president of the North American research and engineering center for Denso. For this reason there are, he says “still some technical challenges and some legal issues that have to be resolved.”

After all, if nobody is driving, who will be held responsible?

Nevertheless when and if self-driving cars become a daily reality, there is no doubt that traffic patterns will change.

How Shared Self-Driving Cars Could Change City Traffic

A new study by the International Transport Forum (ITF) indicates how driverless cars are likely to change traffic congestion in the world’s cities. “Impact on travel volume Shared and self-driving fleets hold much promise for reducing the number of cars in our cities…

Ultimately, self-driving cars could remove nine out of ten cars from city streets and make them redundant. This scenario would free up vast amounts of public space that would not need to be used for parking. The question is probably not how many driverless cars will ultimately take to the streets of USA, but which companies will make money from them.

By Penny Swift

Penny Swift

Penny has been a professional writer since 1984 - Penny has written more than 30 general trade books and eight college books. She has also written countless newspaper and magazine articles for: Skills on Site, Popular Mechanics (SA) and SA Conference, Exhibitions and Events Guide.

Penny has a BA in Social Sciences and currently resides in Cape Town, South Africa.
The Lighter Side Of The Cloud

AI at the Gate: Navigating the Future of Cybersecurity with SonicWall’s Bobby Cornwell

Navigating the Future of Cybersecurity In the face of the digital age’s advancements, AI’s role [...]
Read more

AI-Powered Analytics: Q&A with Sonata Software’s Manu Swami

Welcome to today’s enlightening Q&A session on “AI for Enhanced Analytics,” where we are privileged [...]
Read more
www.strapi.io

Leverage AI for Smarter Content Strategies: Why Headless CMS is the Future

Why Headless CMS is the Future What is a Headless CRM? A Headless CMS is [...]
Read more

RedCloud Founder Justin Floyd Discusses Supply Chain Advancements

Transforming Global Trade Strategies In today’s complex global market, efficient and transparent trade is essential. [...]
Read more
Gary Bernstein

The AI Vanguard: MixMode’s 2024 Insight into Cybersecurity’s New Era

Insight into Cybersecurity’s New Era As we enter into 2024, the adoption of AI in [...]
Read more
JB Baker

SSD Controllers for AI & Data Centers: JB Baker Talks Future of Storage

SSD Controllers for AI & Data Centers Welcome to this Q&A session hosted by CloudTweaks, [...]
Read more
Unlock unparalleled exposure for your brand with CloudTweaks' premium sponsorship and advertising programs. Reach a global audience, amplify your message, and drive growth with our tailored solutions. Partner with us today and elevate your marketing strategy to new heights!
© 2024 CloudTweaks. All rights reserved.