The autonomous vehicle rollout: current state of play: Page 5 of 5

March 09, 2018 //By Bryce Johnstone
The autonomous vehicle rollout: current state of play
It might surprise some to learn that the autonomous vehicle first gained public exposure at the 1939 World’s Fair, on the General Motors Futurama exhibit. The car manufacturer envisioned, “abundant sunshine, fresh air and fine green parkways” upon which cars would drive themselves. Today, in 2018, 79 years later, the autonomous vehicle is a reality thanks to new sensor technology, advances in HD mapping, improvements in analytics, innovations in deep learning and much more.

Looking to the future

The autonomous car is a multi-trillion dollar hardware, software and services market. There are major obstacles on the way to a fully autonomous future including legislation and liability; however, its ability to address fundamental problems that exist, such as pollution, congestion, urban parking, and accident rates will mean that it will become the norm.

From a customer perspective, autonomous vehicles will bring obvious benefits in that the cost of ownership of cars or using cars will dramatically drop. In fact, given some of the numbers suggested by the likes of Lyft and Uber there is a question mark over whether there is any point in owning a car given that it sits unused for potentially up to 95% of its life.

Whilst it’s too early to say who is winning the race to deliver the first autonomous vehicle, it is fair to say that all major car manufacturers and new entrants are investing heavily and making a play for first place. All in all, we are in for a very interesting decade as we race headlong into what will ultimately be an autonomous driving world and the benefits that can bring.

About the author:

Bryce Johnstone is Automotive Segment Director at Imagination Technologies -

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