According to Vehicle Electronics, there are expected to be 20 million entirely autonomous vehicles on the road by 2025. Development is on going and live trials have been taking place. North America and Western Europe should be the first to have self-driving cars in use on the road.
Vehicle Electronics also stated that adaptive cruise control and automated braking will be a key factor to psychologically prepare drivers for the change in control. These 2 systems help to introduce the autonomous vehicles.
The top 5 most promising players in the driverless industry, based on a ranking made by Juniper, are Google, Volvo, Daimler, Apple and Tesla. They are pioneers on key factors such as live testing on the road, kilometers tested on the road, technology, development, project scale and scope, potential on the future and market opportunities. Although Google ranks number one considering that it has been developing for longer and had logged the highest amount of kilometers on public roads.
Driverless technology raises safety questions on decision making. For example, if the car is faced with 2 disastrous situations, what criteria will it use? If a car is driving and a woman with a buggy crosses the road in its path and the car is travelling too fast to stop, will the car then swerve to avoid the pedestrians? However what if avoiding the pedestrians meant the car would topple into a river? The car is having to make life and death decisions?
Juniper study argues that the nature of the technology development required stakeholders to collaborate and ensure a minimum level of safety for those using driverless technology.