According to the study “Autonomous Vehicles – Thematic Research” suggests that the pioneers of autonomous vehicles, Germany, USA and UK have passed various legislations. 33 States in USA currently allow the operation of autonomous cars on public roads. In UK, The government passed a bill to determine the liability and has also been working policies concerning insurance with respect to autonomous vehicles. A law was passed by the German parliament to test the autonomous cars on public roads. Various other countries have also identifies the inevitable future. With Volvo setting up its self driving car project in Sweden and Netherlands allowing autonomous car testing back in 2015.
A self-driving car or an autonomous car is a vehicle that uses a combination of sensors, cameras, radar and artificial intelligence (AI) to travel between destinations without a human operator. For a car to be fully called as autonomous, a vehicle must be able to navigate without human intervention to a predetermined destination over roads that have not been adapted for its use due to frequent testing.
There are numerous technologies used in the autonomous vehicles. Onboard cameras and sensors collect vast amounts of data which are processed in real time enabling the vehicle to travel in the correct lane and operating safely. Artificial intelligence continuously improves vehicular performance aided by frequent software updates and new algorithms via the cloud. Software that automatically performs real-time calculations enables high-speed decision-making on the road. Satellite-based global positioning system tracks the vehicle’s location and guides it to its destination. Cloud based data processing and management tool that analyzes real-time data such as vehicle speed and surrounding car proximity signaling the need for actions like braking or lane-switching. Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) technology senses brake lights and changing road conditions. Radar that is an object detection system using radio waves determines the presence, distance, angle, and velocity of surrounding objects.
With a more complex and diversified mobility industry landscape, small players will be forced to compete on multiple fronts or would be forced to cooperate with competitors. New market entrants are expected to initially target only specific, economically attractive segments before potentially exploring further fields.
The market introduction of autonomous cars has witnessed that the primary challenges impeding faster market penetration are consumer understanding, pricing or safety and security concern. There are various technological hindrances involved with self driving industry and would likely be the reason of delay between conditionally autonomous cars which allow the driver to take control in certain situations and fully autonomous cars, which require no driver intervention. Industry veterans suggest that the role in achieve the reduction of this difference shall be majorly played by tech players and startups.
The major competition in this field can be seen from various companies all around the globe. The competition is intensifying as the technology is being developed further and innovations take place. Various technologies as well as car manufacturing companies are entering this attractive segment trying to gain the first mover advantage. Some major players in this industry are automobile manufacturing giants like General Motors, Daimler – Bosch, Ford and Renault to name a few. While on the other hand we have Tech giants namely Google and Apple trying to perfect this technology. This landscape has even witnessed collaboration between these two sectors when BMW partnered with Intel to work on their new automotive venture. One thing to be stated without a doubt is that the future of the automobile industry will definitely transform into autonomous automobile industry.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications