The Open Automotive Alliance, funded by Google and aiming at fostering Self Driving Cars, SDC, had just 6 members in 2014. Now, at the beginning of 2015 the membership has crossed the 50 members thresholds. In parallel in the first three months of 2015 we have seen a variety of announcements coming from several auto-manufacturers and a variety of other players (with rumors involving even Apple, soon dismissed).
Nissan has announced to be working on a SD taxi with expected availability in 2017, and is partnering with Toyota, Honda, Panasonic, Hitachi, University of Tokyo and Nagoya forming the Japan Team on SDC with the support of the Japanese Government. The UK and Swedish Governments have started considering legislation of SDC and in the Netherlands a few experiments are running on self driving trucks on highways.
This has led someone to see a powerful acceleration towards SDC that will result in short term success.
I beg to differ. The SDC is today parked at the end of the rainbow…
To me this looks like a classic hype phase with the maturity phase quite far in the future, well into the next decade.
My take is we will start to see the real, mass market adoption of SDC when Insurance Company will get busy in developing an insurance framework for these types of vehicles.
Another forecast from my side is that we probably won’t realize that we have shifted from today’s care to SDC. It will be a gradual shift, with growth of self parking cars, then of cars with highway assisted driving, meet me there function and so on. This has already started, the conclusion is still far away, at least this is my pick.