More Than 50M Self-Driven Cars Will Be On The Road By 2035
January 3, 2014

More Than 50M Self-Driven Cars Will Be On The Road By 2035

[ Watch the Video: Cars Will Eventually Drive Themselves ]

Gerard LeBlond for - Your Universe Online

According to a new study by IHS, the world's roadways will begin seeing driverless cars by 2020, with 54 million self-drivingvehicles on the road by 2035, worldwide. The study also predicts that almost every personal, as well as commercial, vehicle in use after 2050 will be self-driving.

The projected number of these cars in 2025 is forecast to be around 230,000 but will rise to 11.8 million by 2035. An estimated 4.8 million of them will have fully-automated controls while the other seven million will allow for both driver and autonomous control.

According to the IHS study, North America is predicted to have the largest number of self-driving cars (SDCs) by 2035 with 29 percent, or 3.5 million SDCs; China at 24 percent, or 2.8 million SDCs; and Europe at 20 percent, or 2.4 million SDCs.

Co-author of the study, Egil Juliussen a principal analyst for infotainment and autonomous driver-assisted systems at HIS Automotive, states that one of the biggest incentives for self-driving cars is safety.

“Accident rates will plunge to near zero for SDCs,” Juliussen said in a statement. Accidents will still happen with human-driven cars crashing into the SDCs while the transition is occurring. “As the market share of SDCs on the highway grows, overall accident rates will decline steadily,” he added.

Another advantage to SDCs is there will be a decline in air pollution because the cars will be programmed to have a minimal effect on the environment.

The study states that there are a few obstacles to go through, the biggest hurdle to cross is the cost. Fully automated driving will be used in luxury automobiles first then slowly be implemented into the remaining vehicles being produced.

IHS predicts, according to the Wall Street Journal, that in 2025 the cost for this feature will be between $7,000-$10,000 in luxury vehicles; by 2030 it will drop to around $5,000 and drop again to $3,000 in 2035 for entry-level cars.

Another dilemma facing the production of SDCs is security. The SDCs will communicate wirelessly with each other, making it possible for hackers to gain access to the electronic systems.

The study says, “There is no question that electronics of the car will become a target for malicious hacking attacks. Every auto manufacturer needs to take cyber security seriously -- which has not been a focus in the past.”

Currently there are only four states that allow the testing of SDCs: California, Nevada, Florida and Michigan. A licensed, capable driver ready to take control of the car at any moment is a requirement in each of these states as well. Laws of these kinds will have to be modified in order for fully automated cars to be on the road. The study says, “These laws will be needed before 2020 or the lack thereof will slow the introduction of self-driving cars.”

According to PCMag, back in August, Nissan vowed to have a SDC car by 2020. Toyota and Audi unveiled their self-driving vehicle technology at CES 2013. Cadillac and Mercedes have also said they will have semi-autonomous cars in the future.