Thursday January 8, 2015 0 comments
SOUTHFIELD, Mich. - Google and various automakers have increased their activity and investment toward the goal of self-driving vehicles, with Google now focusing on fully driverless vehicles for the future, according to a report by IHS Automotive.
The report, Autonomous Driving: Question is When, Not If, is an update of a previous report issued in early 2014.
The report said OEMs remain geared toward augmenting the driver and adding incremental autonomous functions as autonomous driving technology improves.
The findings support IHS Automotive's global forecast of nearly 12 million self-driving cars in 2035, with nearly all autos likely to be self-driving on some level by 2050.
Last year, Google adjusted its approach to focus on fully autonomous vehicles that have the ability to operate without a driver at all, the report said.
"Google's path goes through low-speed testing of self-driving cars in restricted areas beginning in 2015 and lasting three to five years," said Egil Juliussen, the report's co-author. "The next stage is small-scale deployment of low-speed L5 self-driving vehicles in campus-like environments and cities beginning in about 2020.
"There is no question that autonomous driving technology and self-driving vehicles will have tremendous long-term impact on the auto industry," Juliussen said.
"It will also likely have a positive influence on auto sales and vehicles in operation after 2035, presumably adding another 50 years of growth to the sector. Without these advancements, it is possible that the auto industry could stagnate in 10 to 15 years."