US CITIES ARE PREPARING FOR AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES
About 25 cities in the United States are preparing for autonomous vehicles. For instance, Washington, DC, is experimenting with autonomous baby robots, which will carry packages for last-mile delivery. Boston is piloting taxis and private cars. Detroit is interested in six-passenger electric shuttles. In 2011, Nevada became the first state to openly allow the operation of autonomous vehicles in its laws. Currently, Las Vegas has completed a two-week pilot project, offering free rides on a 12-passenger vehicle. In the meantime, San Francisco is planning to spend at least USD 2 million to test the driverless shuttles around Treasure Island, where passengers will be able to ride along bus stops and to popular commercial areas. The Michigan State University introduced the latest autonomous vehicle technology in the ‘2018 NAIAS’, demonstrating the strength in autonomous sensor technology for ‘superhuman’ situational awareness, which includes laser radar ‘Lidar’ units creating 3-D maps of the driving environment. The vehicle-mounted sensors gather information, which is then processed by advanced algorithms, to allow the vehicle to safely maneuver through various conditions, including snow, heavy traffic, and pedestrian hazards.
CHALLENGES BEING FACED BY THE US AUTONOMOUS CAR MARKET
In the United States, the main difficulty is overcoming the regulatory fragmentation caused by 50 states having different preferences on licensing, car standards, regulation, and privacy protection. Currently, car manufacturers (like Ford and General Motors) and software developers are witnessing conflicting rules and regulations in various states. For instance, in 2017, around 33 states introduced legislation, and in 2016, around 20 states introduced legislation. New York has taken a strict approach toward the testing, requiring self-driving cars to follow an approved route with a police escort. The state has also enacted a law that requires drivers to have at least one hand on the wheel of the car. However, it was suspended until April 2018, to accommodate autonomous vehicle testing.
These regulations complicate the innovation process, as vehicle manufacturers are focusing on building cars and trucks for both the national and international markets. The process has also been facing issues regarding the legal liability and data breach protection, as the data can be misused by third-parties or can be maliciously disrupted. Thus, a legislation to penalize the malicious disruption of data and autonomous vehicles is required to ensure the safety of both the consumers and the vehicle.
AUTOMAKERS PLAN FOR AUTONOMOUS CARS IN THE UNITED STATES FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS
The first autonomous vehicle in the US market is expected to be launched by General Motors (GM). The company is ready to mass-produce a self-driving car in 2019. The Cruise AV will have no steering wheel, gas, or brake pedals, or manual driving controls of any kind. The vehicle has no interior driving controls, but the passenger will still be able to end the ride in case of an emergency, by making a stop request, allowing the vehicle to pull off to the side of the road at the first safe opportunity.
BMW is planning to launch a Level 3 self-driving car by 2021 and a Level 5 self-driving car. Level 3 implies that the car can handle elementary driving tasks, but will need driver intervention. On the other hand, Level 5 implies complete vehicle autonomy, with no driver required.
Ford Motor Company is planning to launch autonomous vehicles for applications in ridesharing and delivering, by the end of 2021. Ford Smart Mobility plans to lead in autonomy, connectivity, mobility, customer experience, and analytics. The vehicle will have no steering wheel and no gas or brake pedals. For instance, Ford has created an autonomous vehicle in partnership with Dominos, a pizza delivery company. The company began testing vehicle in 2017, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Autonomous cars are the most recent innovation in the automobile industry, with widespread commercial and consumer interest.
About the market
It is expected that, by 2030, about 20.8 million autonomous vehicles are expected to be operational in the United States. As the technology for autonomous vehicles continues to develop, it is necessary for state and municipal governments to address the potential impacts of these vehicles on the road.
Mordor Intelligence is a market intelligence and advisory firm operating in 14 industry segments, serving over 600 clients worldwide.