Fully robotic self-driving cars are one of the most important subjects of the auto industry in recent years, as people seem eager at the prospect of handing down the controls to the android intelligence when they don’t feel like driving.
According to the latest research finds of the Boston Consulting Group, autonomous vehicles could account for almost 10 percent of global vehicle deliveries – translating into around 12 million cars a year by 2035. BCG’s survey of US motorists shows that 44% of them would find interesting the prospect of purchasing a self-driving car during the next decade – while 205 of them would consider spending in excess of $5,000 for the advanced technology that would go into the operation of a fully autonomous vehicle. “This will be as radical a change as the auto industry has seen in 100 years,” comments Thomas Dauner, the chief of BCG’s global automotive practice. Automkers, from GM to Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Renault-Nissan are already conducting research and development on partially automated systems that would still involve the human interface in some manner.
Such technologies, that can control steering, braking and throttle automatically under certain scenarios are already being introduced this year or in 2016 – initially being found on such premium models as BMW’s X5, or upcoming 2016 Cadillac CT6 and the 2017 Audi A8. The ramp-up of semi-automated features is a long preview towards the end goal – having a fully fledged driverless car, with automakers insisting that the first truly autonomous vehicles won’t come on the market as production cars until 2025.