With autonomous, self-driving cars slated to be commonplace by 2025, massive change in underway on how we view transportation technology as a society.
The race to be the first company with an autonomous car for public consumption is already well underway. However, in the U.S. and globally, technology companies have significantly separated the legacy automotive industry from the discussion of its own future.
Despite concentrated efforts by car makers like Audi and Daimler to successfully compete for a seat at the table, public opinion still leans towards the tech megaliths like Google, Apple, and Uber - search-term volume for “driverless car” in the U.S. is a fraction of that for “Google driverless car.” In fact, “Google driverless car” even outstrips “car technology” in general as a topic of interest. The same trends exist in the press and policy circles.
Both legacy automobile manufacturers and technology companies alike continue to face a myriad of complex challenges in deploying autonomous cars to a large populous. Concerns about regulation, safety, privacy, and society are all hotly debated topics at the moment, with no clear answers.
Regardless of who wins the race to be first on the market, all companies interested in the longterm success of autonomous vehicles have to make a concentrated effort to earn public trust to combat the many associated risks, and ultimately help make way for the inevitable driverless future.