Self-driving cars will be first personal robots

Self-driving and autonomous vehicles, in particular, are much closer to reality than most people and businesses realise, according to Gartner.

By 2030, autonomous-driving-capable vehicles will represent approximately 25%
of the passenger vehicle population in use in mature markets, the research and advisory firm said.

Over the next six years, self-aware vehicles will emerge first that are increasingly also able to autonomously sense, interpret, decide, act and communicate with other automobiles, infrastructures, businesses, people and organisations.

As this self-awareness matures into the next decade, vehicles will become progressively smarter and autonomous, leading to the most fundamental change in transportation, mobility and society, Gartner said.

“At the core of this change is not just the accumulation of hardware, software and data communication technologies,” said Thilo Koslowski, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.

“Gartner’s Maverick research finds that the real impact of self-driving vehicles is the disruption of our existing personal and societal beliefs and the reorganisation of established business assumptions in many industries.”

“At the same time, self-driving vehicles will enable radically new digital business opportunities, such as personal delivery services that utilise a consumer’s driverless vehicle to transport packages between two businesses.”

The company said that the benefits of self-driving vehicles for individuals and the automotive industry range from accident avoidance, to optimised energy and traffic utilisation, to improved emission compliance.

According to a June 2014 Gartner survey of over 6,000 consumers, nearly two-fifths of US and German vehicle owners are interested in purchasing a fully or partially autonomous vehicle the next time they shop for a vehicle.

Equally, as many vehicles owners would even consider giving up traditional vehicle ownership for having on-demand access to getting an autonomous vehicle whenever they need one.

Gartner warns however, that autonomous and driverless cars still have many obstacles to overcome before they meet all consumer, industry and legal requirements.

“We predict that by 2016, three companies will have announced concrete plans for upcoming automobile launches that will offer autonomous vehicle technology,” it said.

By 2025, vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication will be available in approximately 30% of passenger vehicles in use in mature markets, which will increase the reliability and accelerate the rollout of autonomous vehicles.

By 2030, autonomous-driving-capable vehicles will represent approximately 25% of the passenger vehicle population in use in mature markets, Gartner said.

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Self-driving cars will be first personal robots