Self-driving cars won't hit public roadways until 2025, experts say

By on April 19, 2013, 7:30 AM

Don’t plan on trading in your existing car for one that can drive itself anytime soon. While we’ve seen significant advances in autonomous driving technology from companies like Audi, BMW, Nissan and even Google, experts tell us that we shouldn’t expect to forfeit our seat behind the wheel until at least 2025.

Speaking at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2013 World Congress, Christian Schumacher of Continental Automotives Advanced Driver Assistance Systems for the NAFTA region said 2025 is around the time frame that they expect to see cars drive themselves.

The key concern it seems is the safety of self-driving vehicles which is a bit ironic as human error is one of the leading causes for automobile accidents today. Peter Sweatman, director of the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute said driver distraction and safety technology are really separate ships passing in the night.

Even still, California and Nevada law allows self-driving cars on public roadways so long as a licensed driver is behind the wheel. That in itself could present an issue as the person behind the wheel could become even more distracted with things like text messaging, reading or even sleeping if they don’t have to physically drive the car. The minute something malfunctions and an accident occurs, the discussion would turn on its head, said one expert.

Of course, that’s not to say that we can't enjoy some elements of autonomous driving today. Manufacturers are already shipping models with features like parallel park assistance, lane detection and pedestrian recognition.




User Comments: 14

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amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I would say atleast another 20-30 years before we can even think about putting these on the roads. Our technology is still very unreliable/primitive for reliably controlling anything, and cars themselves still have a long ways to go.

Timonius Timonius said:

Yeah, I'm more concerned about pedestrian safety. I can just imagine the vehicle/pedestrian accident rates go up if this technology were released too early.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"I wasn't speeding officer, it was Google. Ticket them!"

I think self-driving cars will be a good evolution in the automobile. It does take a lot of the human error out of driving, but I think things which are not connected to the "grid" will still be a bit of a problem. Such as those cars that turn left in front of you, motorcycles, and as Timonius already said, those pedestrians. I'm thinking a school zone with those darting teenagers going to High School would be a prime target for self-driving cars.

Guest said:

Google has already had self driving cars on public roads in California for the past several years.

BMfan BMfan said:

And the human race gets lazier.

Driving is not difficult,the only people besides the disabled that would need a car like this are the same ****** that need sensors to tell them when it's raining and when they should put their lights on.

spencer spencer said:

And when they do show up, all of a sudden humans don't get to drive anymore, and after that you pay for the gas and the rights to travel(taxed by the feds). And if the gman don't like you then you don't get to travel.Just like NDAA/patriot act How would they know where your at? rfid chips; look them up +dronesand+or/uavs

RzmmDX said:

And the human race gets lazier.

Driving is not difficult,the only people besides the disabled that would need a car like this are the same ****** that need sensors to tell them when it's raining and when they should put their lights on.

No, but when you're stuck in a god damn traffic jam for 2 hours. I want my damn car to deal with it while I do something else. And I don't really want to drive for 6 hours either...

BMfan BMfan said:

They already give u a slush box for traffic,I drove a couple times last year for over 12 hours straight and if I was in a self driving car I would have probably killed myself trying to do something more interesting,I'm just glad that at least when I was doing those trips the cars had manual gearboxes.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

2030 we suppose to have Fuel Cell cars, but at this rate might never happen. Gas vehicles replace by Fuel Cell cars and now they want to add self driven cars. Roads with pot holes and etc.. For these vehicles to drive on it bad enough. Snow, ice, heavy rain etc..The car might want to home instead then go through that mess!

Guest said:

The technology is already safer than humans. This includes the ability to navigate errant pedestrians, drivers and road conditions. The question really boils down to maintenance of all the necessary systems. People drive with broken cars now and to a degree can adjust thier habits. These technologies may be able to adjust similarly to an extent, but how many redundant sensors and computers are acceptable? According to NHTSA, between 30k and 40k people were killed every year '05-'10. Current Google tech would likely cut that by 90%. Regardless, the very first death involving a self driver will result in a cry to banish the concept forever.

Guest said:

They will have "race trip" mode? because otherwise I will be bored and angry!!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

+1 for the concerns about unconnected and off-grid things.

In Australia, I'd love to see self-driving cars swerve for potholes, roadkill, animals, etc...

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

So its safe to say we have 12+ years, without having to worry about this technology.

1 person liked this | captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Don't plan on trading in your existing car for one that can drive itself anytime soon. While we've seen significant advances in autonomous driving technology from companies like Audi, BMW, Nissan and even Google, experts tell us that we shouldn't...]
Dude, have you been out on the road recently? 'Cause self driving cars are already here. They seem to drive themselves while being remotely controlled by cell phone. I think text messaging is for those who still prefer command line input.....:oops:

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