Driverless cars aren’t coming. They’re already here. Much of he technology has been around for decades and many features are available on new cars today. Experts agree fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) will soon be ubiquitous and they will significantly disrupt many industries and change where and how we live. The only questions are: When? And how?
Nearly all of the necessary technology had been developed and was ready to go in the 1990s, according to Jason Schreiber, senior principal at Stantec Urban Places.
“We did get a lot of backbone planning done for connected vehicles,” Schrieber said. “Those protocols exist and there are cities that a ready for them. The technology just wasn’t scalable to the point that it was affordable, until now.”
Many new cars today have features like automatic braking, lane departure alerts, adaptive cruise control and even self-parking features. They’re already semi-autonomous to varying degrees and have been for years.
“People are ready to adapt to the idea of AVs,” Schrieber said. “Tesla still has a long waiting list. Traditional cars will still be in ownership 10+ years from now so there will be aa transition period of 15-20 years. I’d guess it will be no less than 50 years until we see full adoption.”