Almost every major automaker plans on having an autonomous car on the market with the next 3-5 years. I don’t buy it.
Despite Tesla’s brilliant marketing, lane keeping assists + adaptive cruise control does not make an autonomous car. Even if those two technologies can account for 98% of miles driven, the technology required to bridge the last 2% in order to create a vehicle that can go from any given point A to any given point B isn’t even on the horizon. Google’s self driving cars, as of a few years ago, reportedly can’t handle 99% of roads in the US, nor can they handle snow, heavy rain, any localized GPS outages, or unexpected and/or temporary traffic signals. The idea that these are small problems that are going to be solved in a few years is wishful thinking.
At best, we’re going to have long haul interstate truck routes that are completely autonomous, with ports on either end where a real person finishes the job. We’ll also see systems like Tesla’s Autopilot proliferate down to more affordable cars, but the law and the technology will still require the driver to remain alert and take over when the system can’t handle the situation, which will be at some point on every single trip the vehicle takes. This is the best we’re going to get for decades.
That’s what I think, at least, but clearly I’m a naysayer. Convince me I’m wrong