The Car Transformations that will Greatly Influence Driverless Vehicles

It’s no secret that driverless vehicles are coming to society a lot later than the media suggested. Articles with headlines like “It’s 2020. Where are our Self-Driving Cars?,” “Self-Driving Cars: Hype-Filled Decade Ends on a Sobering Note,” and “Driverless Cars are Taking Longer Than We Expected. Here’s Why” reflect where we are today.

In the meantime, the car industry is making a lot of other investments and advancements. Here are some exciting examples:

  • Electric vehicles – As stated in this article, “In 2018, ZEVs represented 1.9% of total sales nationwide, or about 334,000 vehicles out of 17.2 million new vehicles sold. By 2025, sales of ZEVs are required to be about 7 to 10% of total sales.”
  • Partially Automated Driving Systems (ADS) – Not to be confused with fully driverless technology, partial ADS presents great safety opportunities for vehicles today. Examples include adaptive cruise control, lane centering, and self-parking.
  • Ownership model – As stated in this article, “By 2025-26, vehicle subscription programs could account for nearly 10% of all new vehicle sales in the US and Europe.” We’re seeing this trend across all industries, so it’s no surprise that people are less inclined to own vehicles outright and that vehicle manufacturers and dealers are adapting to this trend.
  • Maintenance / upgradeability – As the vehicles are becoming “smarter” and more connected, they have the ability to have increased predictive maintenance (so they can identify potential maintenance issues before they happen) and they can be enhanced via “over the air” or other upgrades.
  • Data Machines – Often described as “computers on wheels,” vehicles are now storing and sharing more data than ever. This article states, “A car can generate about 25 gigabytes of data every hour and as much as 4,000 gigabytes a day” While vehicle manufacturers are still exploring how to monetize all of this data, there is no question that vehicle data is a growing part of the automobile industry’s value chain.

There’s no question that these will all have influences on driverless vehicles, so it’s important we keep following these exciting industry developments. I’m sure this list is actually much longer – what else am I missing?

About Lauren Isaac

Lauren Isaac is the Director of Business Initiatives for the North American operation of EasyMile. Easymile provides electric, driverless shuttles that are designed to cover short distances in multi-use environments. Prior to working at EasyMile, Lauren worked at WSP where she was involved in various projects involving advanced technologies that can improve mobility in cities. Lauren wrote a guide titled “Driving Towards Driverless: A Guide for Government Agencies” regarding how local and regional governments should respond to autonomous vehicles in the short, medium, and long term. In addition, Lauren maintains the blog, “Driving Towards Driverless”, and has presented on this topic at more than 75 industry conferences. She recently did a TEDx Talk, and has been published in Forbes and the Chicago Tribune among other publications.
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1 Response to The Car Transformations that will Greatly Influence Driverless Vehicles

  1. Blair Schlecter says:

    Connected vehicles is another category and a precursor of sorts to autonomous vehicles. The slower evolution of AVs is good in many ways, encouraging us to explore how to best use them for societal goods and creating more interesting problems for us to solve!

    Liked by 1 person

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