Cars will soon have the ability to cruise on freeways and safely navigate traffic jams with minimal driver input, according to a Navigant Research report on autonomous vehicles that says 85 million autonomous-capable vehicles are expected to be sold annually around the world by 2035.
Navigant Research says the industry consensus is that more comprehensive self-driving features will be brought to market by 2020. Such features will enable more complex automated driving, but still require some supervision by a competent driver.
However, the obstacles to autonomous functionality are not all technological. While more testing is still needed to develop robustness, the biggest practical hurdles to clear before the rollout of self-driving vehicles to the public are related to liability, regulation, and legislation. In the long term, though, autonomous vehicle technology has the potential to institute major change in personal mobility, particularly in large cities, the report says.