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Self Driving Cars to Have Low Impact in Future Decades, Study Finds

For several years now, auto manufacturers have been engaged in a race to develop self-driving cars, building on the existing driver assistance technologies. That race, it seems, is likely to go nowhere, at least in the foreseeable future.
Mercedes-Benz F015 autonomous car 1 photo
Photo: Mercedes-Benz
A study by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), cited by GM Authority, found that it is unlikely such technologies will benefit from widespread public adoption in the decades to come.

Currently, carmakers are hard at work developing Level 2 and Level 3 autonomous technologies, while the Holy Grail of full automation, Level 5 (complete self-driving cars, with no visible steering wheel and pedals), not even being seriously attempted.

The study says that by the year 2030, Level 4 and 5 systems will constitute only 4 percent of new vehicles sold on the global market. By 2040, that number is likely to increase to a little over 25%.

In all, including lower level systems, some 55 percent of cars sold by that year would have some type automated systems. Mind you, automated systems include, for instance, auto braking, currently in use on several higher-end vehicles.

“While the technology to electrify and automate vehicles will take decades to proliferate, automakers and suppliers must invest now to have a stake in the future of the transformed automotive industry,” Carla Bailo CEO was quoted as saying by the source.

The same path will be taken by electric vehicles as well. Alternative propulsion cars will make up for only 8 percent of the total global auto market by the same year 2030.

The adoption of electric vehicles is hindered by public opposition. The results of a study published by Mazda in the beginning of the month showed that, at least in Europe, 58% of drivers believe there is “a lot of innovation and improvement still to come with petrol and diesel engines,” while 31% of them “hope that diesel cars will continue to exist.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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