Next frontier in mobility
The internet search engine giant Google is the current leader in autonomous driving technologies and driverless cars. It is the only company which has the software prowess and unique and advanced technology muscle to push autonomous vehicles into new horizons.
Although Google’s intention is to launch the self-driving cars in five years, that ambition might seem like a tall order. However, Dr Egil Juliussen, Senior Research Director at global consultancy IHS Automotive says driverless car-as-a-service (CaaS) could become a reality in the next ten years.
Introduction of CaaS will drastically reduce the cost of transportation since there is no need for drivers. It will also be advantageous for people who do not have driving licences. IHS estimates that 85 per cent of people in the world do not have a driver’s licence.
Analysing the major trends that he sees evolving in self-driving and driverless cars, Dr Juliussen sees both evolutionary and revolutionary changes. “The evolutionary changes are incremental improvements of current driver assist systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist and autonomous braking,” he told Polymers & Tyre Asia.
“These are combined and improved to become traffic jam pilots, highway pilots and valet parking systems over the next five years. The revolutionary approach is to go directly to driverless cars that need no drivers to operate, which is what Google and Uber are doing.”
A main reason Google is doing so is because the handover problem from driving in partial autonomous mode to having the driver taking over is not working within emergency events, he explained.
On Google facing competition from Apple, which is said to be working on a self-driving electric car codenamed ‘Project Titan’ by 2020, Dr Juliussen said that nobody knows what Apple is doing.
“There are only rumours and speculation available today. Apple is capable of doing anything and can catch up with anyone. Apple is probably looking at multiple options and we will not really know what that is until Apple announces its products.”
PTA News Bureau
(Full text in PTA Dec-Jan issue)