In a LinkedIn article dated August 1st, 2017, Scott Nyquist echoed sentiments of a previous post here on the Kicker Blog. The LinkedIn article, entitled “why driverless cars might not hit the road so fast,” makes well-researched points that reinforce the conclusion that driverless cars will likely be a part of the future but not in the near future.
Nyquist compares AVs to EVs (all electronic vehicles) in that experts were enthusiastic about them and were quick to predict their inevitable dominance. If the comparison is true then EVs will also not become the norm as quickly as experts predict.
In late 2010, for example, one expert prediction was that by 2013, 200,000 electric cars would be sold in the US, and in 2015, 280,000; in fact, the figures were 96,600 and 119,000, respectively. Carlos Ghosn, the well-respected CEO of Nissan, said in 2011, that by 2016, there would be1.6 million Renault-Nissan EVs on the road; that forecast was off by more than 80 percent. President Obama saw a million EVs on American roads by 2016; the real figure is fewer than 300,000.
Considering the legal and physical blockades that need to be overcome it seems more likely that autonomous cars will become a feature of cars in the future but will be restricted in use much the way current cruise control is. Certain well-mapped zones will open up to them to take advantage of their ability to crowd more cars onto the roads, but other areas that are under construction or too rural to be mapped up to the minute will remain human-required. This balanced, gradual approach will take decades to bring about a total driverless age.
But that’s just an opinion. We’ll just have to wait and see how it turns out.