Expect to see around 20 million autonomous cars in ten-year time image

A new study says that nearly 20 million self-diving cars will venture on roads by 2025, even if there still is a long way until the full implementation of autonomous technology.

All of the carmakers are preparing for the alleged upcoming trend of self-driving cars. The first autonomous cars are planned to enter production in five-year time, but the industry is preparing for that moment with small steps, by developing for now semi-autonomous systems that would be integrated later into “independent” vehicles. Tesla Motors is testing its new AutoPilot feature, a system which allows motorists to drive hands-free on well-marked, limited-access roadways, while Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Nissan are among the makers planning similar features in the next few years.

With all these big names involvements from the auto industry, studies are now forecasting as many as 20 million of such vehicles likely to be on roads around the world by the middle of the next decade. The new study conducted by Britain’s Juniper Research says that by 2025 self-driving vehicles will represent less than 1% of the vehicles in use around the world, but warns the ride will not be so smooth in the first years the technology is in use. “The research noted that concerns over the decision making capabilities of these systems have been raised and questions have been asked about the decisions autonomous vehicles would take when presented with…two disastrous outcomes,” stated a summary of the new Juniper study. According to it, the five most promising players in the driverless car sector are Volvo, Daimler, Tesla and Apple, with Google in the lead spot.

However, the autonomous technology programmed to strictly obey the rules of the road fitted into manually controlled cars is definitely not a match made in heaven, as humans are often tempted to ignore the rules just to save a few moments. And can these systems fully prevent and predict an incident and make a better judgment call than a driver? “I’m not sure we’re quite ready” to put autonomous vehicles on the road, yet, said former NHTSA Administrator and safety advocate Joan Claybrook, while her successor, current NHTSA boss Mark Rosekind, believes the technology could help lead to an era of near-zero traffic deaths.

Via The Detroit Bureau