Autonomous technology implementation hindered by component pricing image

Just this week, General Motors and Audi have presented their latest advances in regards to self-driving technology – a segment seen revolutionizing the automotive world.

But before the owners can take their hands off the wheel and relax while their car takes them to their destination, numerous obstacles need to be overcome. While in many of our previous materials we presented many of them, today we’ll focus on just one. The autonomous driving relies on a series of advances in technology, which implicate new – and key – components.

While automakers boast their advances in the sector, we could forecast that if the critical parts that allow the cars to become autonomous don’t go down in price, the eager customers will have a long wait ahead of them.

“The cost of sensing and processing is going to have to move down a lot if we’re going to make a manageable and a large-scale deployment of autonomous automated vehicle technology over the next few years,” comments John Lauckner, General Motors’ chief technology officer.

Just the sensors used in the current test fleet of autonomous cars are worth more than “a few hundred bucks,” with Lauckner saying that in GM’s case they will need to drop to around $50 to be successfully implemented in all its vehicles.

And if we take into account the “lidar” sensors – essentially a radar that uses laser, not radio waves for positioning – the cost skyrockets, with the average price above $25,000.