When Will Driverless Cars Be Commonplace?

Thanks to Bill Gutelius from Active Imaging Systems for the tip on this detailed article in the MIT Technology Review on the time frame for widespread availability of driverless cars. Given some of the hype around Google’s autonomous vehicles some might think they are just around the corner, so to speak, but the author of the article identifies some key roadblocks – couldn’t resist.

For example, “For one thing, many of the sensors and computers found in BMW’s car, and in other prototypes, are too expensive to be deployed widely. And achieving even more complete automation will probably mean using more advanced, more expensive sensors and computers. The spinning laser instrument, or LIDAR, seen on the roof of Google’s cars, for instance, provides the best 3-D image of the surrounding world, accurate down to two centimeters, but sells for around $80,000. Such instruments will also need to be miniaturized and redesigned, adding more cost, since few car designers would slap the existing ones on top of a sleek new model.

See what it was like to go for a test drive in a BMW on the Autobahn.


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3 Responses to When Will Driverless Cars Be Commonplace?

  1. David Dustin says:

    The technology will eventually become affordable enough to be commonplace.

    Think back to the early days of ABS when the only people using it were the high end manufacturers and even then only for their racing programs.

    I remember reading similar articles “back in the day” indicating the writer questioned whether ABS would ever be affordable enough to become commonplace.
    Now we take ABS for granted…

    As to when driver-less cars will be the norm? I have to say I am not sure, but I want one now…. David

  2. Jim Luke says:

    Guess you have not bought a vehicle lately.
    The prices are going up big time!
    Eventually the two lines will intersect and we can have them.
    It will be a while though.

  3. Joe says:

    When the marketeers start calling them Automatic Chauffeurs not Driverless Cars!

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