Computer-driven cars are still years away despite massive investment
Despite the hype that liberation day will dawn soon and cars will drive themselves, there’s no realistic chance that full autonomous driving will be available before 2030, and only in a small number of sedans. and high-end SUVs. , according to the consulting firm Accenture
The world’s largest automakers have invested billions of dollars trying to perfect the technology. Despite impressive results, self-driving technology still can’t be relied on to handle truly complex situations, and won’t be anytime soon.
Axel Schmidt, who heads Accenture’s global automotive division, said in an interview that autonomous vehicle (AV) technology hasn’t advanced as quickly as expected.
“Right now, many expected us to see robotaxis rolling around, but the issues are very complex. Driving on the freeway when all the cars are going in the same direction is much easier than dealing with downtown traffic. And much of the early research was done in California, where there isn’t much rain, fog, or snow. In the all-weather conditions of Europe, the issues were all a bit understated with things like snow blocking the road markings,” Schmidt said.
He said that as technology progresses from level 1 and level 2 skills, which cover simpler tasks like emergency braking, approaching traffic warnings, steering assistance and early connectivity, this still relied on the driver taking full responsibility for the car’s actions. Higher levels, however, mean that the responsibility lies with the manufacturer. Level 5 assumes full control by the computer with no directing responsibility for humans.
This is currently a bridge too far for manufacturers, let alone lawyers.
In a report, Accenture said many traditional automakers, as well as new entrants, have taken a bold stance and are planning fully self-driving cars by 2025. That won’t happen unless technology can mimic human common sense.
“We predict that by 2030, 60% of all new cars will be equipped with Level 2 functionality. The downside is that current systems are not robust enough to drive cars autonomously in real traffic. – presumably due to a lack of common sense. For example, an algorithm cannot distinguish between a real traffic sign and one that is – for us humans – obviously manipulated,” the report states.
“Due to high costs, we expect even the share of Tier 3 or Tier 4 premium cars to be only around 5% of the total market by 2030. Mission impossible: Tier 5,” he said.
Pedro Pacheco, senior research director at Gartner
“We won’t see L5 until 2030. No doubt some companies will try to generate hype and pretend they have it. However, having an L5 system that can drive door to door throughout Europe and North America at least, for at least 80% of all routes and with 0 accidents and disengagement is something we certainly won’t see not this decade,” Pacheco said.
“Now if you want to have an L5 rolling in a straight line in the middle of the desert, it’s much easier,” added Pacheco.
In addition to the enormous complexity of the self-driving task, major manufacturers found other significant issues that required additional capital and attention, including production hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, durability and government green accord requirements.
Accenture’s Schmidt said there are self-directed tasks that can be done now. You could automate the movement of cars from the production line to the parking lot, or the driving of trucks over long distances, parts of which could be easily automated.
But when autonomous driving is finally available, the industry faces big decisions. Will the industry be led by current manufacturers, mobility providers like UBER, new tech entrants like Apple
Schmidt said when Level 5 is reached, there will be great opportunities for businesses, thanks to apps that can design travel plans to maximize mobility efficiency.
“With AV, we probably won’t see domestic flights because we see a seamless intermodular mobility system. For example, I would take a TGV (high-speed train) from Paris to Nice, I would drive to a city in the countryside in a AV. In the morning, I used an electric scooter to go to the bakers. There would be an application that would reserve these choices based on current traffic data and my historical choice of travel, as Amazon knows your habits today buying,” he said.
This new world of mobility is up for grabs, according to Schmidt.
“There will be a big change in the way of managing mobility in the future. Who will be the coordinator and the owner, automakers, big tech companies, infrastructure companies, fleet operators or maybe partnerships?
Will manufacturers be left behind in this upheaval?
“The race is on and there will be new players like Apple. It will be a much tougher race and probably not everyone will survive it. Breakthroughs are possible. Watch how Tesla
These experts were interviewed ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, from February 29 to March 3.