With the continual growth in the global automotive industry, various technological developments are witnessed worldwide. Automakers are bullish over the capabilities of cutting-edge technologies in an attempt to accelerate the performance and proficiency of futuristic vehicles. Self-driving technology is one such development that has garnered the attention of almost all automotive manufacturers. Autonomous vehicles use automotive sensors that detect the nearby objects, position of the vehicle and help choose an appropriate path for a commute. The major factor driving the demand for autonomous vehicles is the prevalence of road accidents across the globe as a result of which autonomous vehicles are considered safer compared to manually controlled vehicles.
Automakers Shift Manufacturing Focus towards Self-driving Cars
Automobile manufacturers are putting faith in self-driving cars. In light of this, their manufacturing focus is shifting towards this lucrative variant. Various automakers are expanding their production capabilities for developing autonomous, driverless cars.
- Ford Motor Company recently announced that it would develop its initial autonomous vehicles at a Michigan-based $50 million production center. This production will be a part of their former pledge of investing $900 million in the State’s manufacturing operations. The production of the self-driving cars is likely to commence in 2021, while the company has plans for the production of electric vehicles in the Flat Rock factory by 2023.
- While Ford focuses on the production of self-driving cars, Toyota is working towards strengthening the technology backing its autonomous cars. The automaker’s research divisions based in the US and Japan are accelerating its autonomous vehicle development program, the company is strengthening its business relationships with Nvidia. Recently, Nvidia announced that Toyota’s Japan-based research division, Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development is making use of Nvidia’s complete end-to-end production and development for developing, training, and validating the autonomous vehicle technology.
- The BMW Group is also working on the same line as Ford and Toyota. The automaker recently unveiled its autonomous driving campus in Unterschleißheim, Germany. This new campus for autonomous driving is a state-of-the-art center of excellence. With this new campus, the BMW Group aims to drive the development of highly automated vehicles forward.
Race to Get Autonomous Vehicles on Roads Continues as Leading Economies Embrace Self-driving Cars
There are various self-driving car tests and projects witnessed across nations worldwide. Economies are embracing the self-driving technology in an attempt to reduce the number of fatalities pertaining to road accidents.
- Volkswagen recently announced the testing of prototype self-driving cars in Hamburg—Germany. The company further claimed that these are the first-ever autonomous vehicle tests conducted in a key German city, and the tests would support ongoing research projects focusing on autonomous driving.
- The streets of Germany are not the only ones where autonomous vehicles are gaining grounds. London is also preparing to harness the capabilities of self-driving cars. FiveAI, an autonomous technology company has begun testing five self-driving cars in Croydon and Bromley as a part of its plan to ultimately begin an autonomous, car-sharing service in London. The company expects to commence passenger trials in 2020.
Various other economies are taking efforts to bring autonomous vehicles on their roads in an attempt to align with the global inclination towards autonomous vehicle technology.
Latest Industry Developments Pertaining to Autonomous Vehicles Outlined
While leading automakers focus their business efforts at the autonomous vehicle technology, these developments are sure to influence the future capabilities of self-driving cars.
- Tackling Motion Sickness In Autonomous Cars
Motion sickness is more likely to occur in autonomous vehicles compared to manually controlled ones. Although not a primarily significant challenge, tackling motion sickness could be a part of company strategies that aim bigger from the autonomous vehicles marketplace. A Massachusetts-based startup—ClearMotion has a way to tackle this issue. Its Proactive Ride technology is designed to reduce the unsettling motions by recognizing them ahead of time and offsetting them. This system takes help of actuators, accelerometers, and software attached to the vehicle’s shock absorbers.
- Safety-critical Solutions Underway
Making autonomous cars safer is recognized as a primary goal for automakers. A recent study by Stanford University researchers have made a development in which the self-driving cars could learn from previous experiences, thereby enabling them to perform safely in unknown and extreme circumstances. The researchers built a neutral network, a type of AI computing system to develop a responsive computing system with greater flexibility that integrates data from the vehicles’ previous driving experience.
- 5G Technology Gaining Vitality
As the self-driving trend continues to grow, 5G network connections are expected to play a major part in influencing the development of self-driving cars, making them smarter, faster, and safer. This ultra-fast connectivity and highly-reliable and responsive network allows leveraging the complete potential of advanced technologies including artificial intelligence and IoT that are crucial aspects of autonomous driving. Samsung, in collaboration with the Korea Transportation Safety Authority for developing mobile network infrastructure such as 4G, 5G and V2X for autonomous vehicles testing.
More developments and aspects pertaining to autonomous vehicles are encompassed in a comprehensive study. Readers can gain an insightful glance into autonomous vehicles market by downloading a sample of the study.