While many – including potential clients, automakers and observers – feel definitely upbeat about the advent of the self-driving cars, there are others who say the challenges are far greater than expected.
Recently, Google announced it plans to test a fleet of internally designed autonomous vehicles by year’s end, with the tech company and automakers competing in the newly developing segment saying they expect the new vehicles to hit the streets around 2020.
Many still challenge the autonomous motoring, as they contend the many technical, legislative and – to no less extend – cultural difficulties could drag the adoption of such vehicles, especially the ones – like Google’s – that would give up all together all forms of human control.
“I highly doubt individual car owners will give up their freedom to drive anywhere, anytime for the Google car,” says Art Wheaton, an automotive industry expert and senior lecturer at Cornell University. “The success of the Prius in the United States owes a great debt to California HOV lane preferential treatment. People may pay for the convenience of a shorter commute and own two vehicles in the family. One for commuting and the other for family or pleasure travel,” Wheaton added.
Far easier to accept would be cars that offer both forms of transportation – the conventional setup and the autonomous drive, as many new models already feature an increased introduction of the basic technologies that underpin the self-driving cars.