(source: clickatell: Robocar)
They say the devil is in the detail. How many top companies are racing to produce autonomous cars? According to The Wired it’s 263 to be precise.
Let’s face it – autonomous cars are disrupting the traditional car industry. And Silicon Valley is the hot spot for the future of transport. Think of the car as the brain, helping you to find your parking, detecting your needs and for those gaget fans out there – there’s a whole shopping list to go with it:
Lidar, cameras, radar. You might want to move forward your Christmas wish list.
Who is interested investing in this? BIG PLAYERS.
According to Fortune, GM bought Cruise Autonomation for $1billion in 2016. Not bad for a then 3 year start up. Cruise Autonomation raised over $18 million in venture capital and then upped it to $90 million with investors including Spark Capital, Maven Ventures, Founder Collective and Y Combinator.
Similarly, Ford also invested $1b in Argo Al. Do you see a trend here? I’m not just talking about money. I’m talking about possibilities, visions and traditional firms opening up to new ideas. This is a massive move to try and beat and out race the exponential curve, because late adopters will be …too late.
Innovation takes courage. When Uber bought out autonomous trucks company Otto for $680 million, could anyone thought seriously? What’s more, is that they are teaming up with Volvo and collaborating on a $300 million alliance.
And with predictions of AI in cars from 8% in 2015 to 109% in 2025 there are going to be many changes – Partly driven by innovators, partly demand and partly curiosity.
With much research currently conducted on technology and human behavior on trust and perceptions of technology, such research and development into AI and Autonomous cars is also opening up doors for us to better understand our behaviors.
Through a study conducted by BMW, it would appear that once humans understand the machine, we begin to trust. Perhaps it’s no different to our computers and phones.
There is by equal measure another school of thought and discusson on the concern of what if the autonomous car gets hacked? That is a fair question and particularly when the vision is to see Autonomous vehicles operate on a large scale or become the norm that’s something all stakeholders need to consider seriously.
How soon are we talking about? Pretty soon.
2020 is an important year for some.
Tokyo has a vision to be a driveless car city in good timing for the Olympics. Many cities are also thought experimenting and actually launching trials of testing driveless cars in their cities such as Boston, Las Vegas and Chandler, Arizona.
Who is leading?
Helskinki is operating their first autonomous bus system since 2016.
Singapore is operating ‘light car’ driving taxis.
Even Beijing is trying to attempt a first amongst their busy streets.
So can we see how Autonomous cars are going to revolutionise cities?
I thought so.