Why Autonomous Cars Won’t Be Common Anytime Soon
By Ted Ings, Executive Director
Tesla, Volvo, BMW, Toyota, Nissan, and at least 14 other car companies are working feverishly to develop self-driving technology.
Billions of dollars are invested, all with the intent that self-driving cars, or autonomous cars, will be the next big thing in the automotive industry.
A market exists for autonomous cars, specifically in the realm of business. Delivery vehicles, public transportation, industrial machines, and some personal vehicles are examples of uses where self-driving cars may show up. But there are clear and nearly insurmountable reasons that driverless cars won’t replace everyday vehicles.
Certain Climates are Prohibitive
Autonomous technology bases many of its logical decisions on what it can ‘see’ with cameras. For five or six months of the year, snow blankets the streets in dozens of American states and much of Canada.
Not only will cameras be unable to see street lines and other vehicles, but GPS guidance can easily be lost in falling snow or rain. What happens when a driverless car can’t navigate?
Drivers are Passionate About Driving!
More importantly, millions of drivers love to drive. There’s a reason why 17.5 million new cars were sold in 2016, a statistic that will likely continue to rise. That’s the evidence of a population that enjoys strapping on a seatbelt, putting a shifter in gear, and pressing the accelerator.
Why It’s Important to the Automotive Business
There’s strong evidence that the average American will continue to buy traditional vehicles for the foreseeable future. It reinforces the need to continue developing customer-centric service and sales. Amid constant advances in technologies – autonomous technology notwithstanding – it’s critical that the customer, the sales process, and the driving experience remain the driving force for car dealers and manufacturers.