Industry insiders discuss whats next for autonomous cars

Industry insiders discuss whatês next for autonomous cars

The afternoon MobilityTalks International programs kicked off with whatês coming in the ever changing world of autonomous and connected cars. Speakers discussed location and adoption rate for the new technology, infrastructure, human interface and other topics, all of them in flux.

–Donêt expect a fully autonomous car in the dealership on demand,” said Doug Patton, chief technology officer for DENSO, a supplier of advanced auto technology. –But mobility on demand, yes.” An autonomous vehicle may not be a personal vehicle bought at a dealership as other cars are now.

–But in a specific urban environment, an autonomous vehicle may be the way to go,” Patton said. For instance, an autonomous vehicle could deliver dry cleaning to customers. But how does the cleaner then get paid? That type question has not been sorted out yet, said Patton.

It is useful to remember that –autonomy comes in different flavors,” said panelist Sascha Simon, founder and president of Driversiti. His company collects data from the area surrounding a car to turn a smartphone into a safe driving device that reports on road conditions and helps avoid crashes and driver distraction.

Mobileye offers another type of autonomous tool: software that offers usable information for autonomous cars, such as 360 degree maps, said Dan Galves, chief ecommunications officer for the company and the third panelist in this segment.

In another step on the road to autonomy, DENSOês collision-avoidance technologies have been installed in 10 percent of the cars on the road, said Patton. But the adoption rate will likely increase quickly, as the government is considering the technology.

A question discussed in the panel, but not answered, was what type of infrastructure will be needed and who should pay for it? Patton noted that SAFE (Securing Americaês Future Energy) has said that moving toward fully autonomous vehicles would create two million new jobs.

How about the effect of autonomous cars on car sales generally?

–If we have mobility on demand, people may put 150,000 to 180,000 miles on a vehicle in two years,” said Galves of Mobileye. –Then what? Either replace the parts or turn over the car. We may have fewer cars but much faster turnover.”

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