Consider the autonomous timeline

March 11, 2019
Technology updates and industry shows help us to see the continued progress in automotive innovation.

Here and there you’ll see an update on autonomous vehicles and cars with enabling technology. Timelines are usually approximated or speculated; these are not typically accurate. Still, progress marches on. Autonomous vehicles are a captivating topic, after all.

Just last week CEO Elon Musk said Tesla cars should have all the features needed to pick up passengers and drive them autonomously by the end of the year.

And last month French global automotive supplier Valeo unveiled its first automotive vehicle at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. The car is aptly named the “Drive4U”.

At the popular tech show, Drive4U used Valeo sensors (ultrasound, cameras, lasers, radars and LiDARS), as well as artificial intelligence, to help it maneuver safely in the streets of Las Vegas. According to the report, Drive4U’s “‘digital brain’ helps the vehicle to process inputs and learn from each scenario it encounter[s].”  Read the report here.

Tech-forward companies like Tesla and Valeo are forging ahead in the autonomous space even while they look for ways to improve upon the major challenge of safety.

At CES, Valeo representatives noted their goal was to set the target of “less than one major incident for every billion kilometers driven, which would present a higher level of safety than is present in the aeronautics industry.” That’s a pretty impressive claim. To back it up, the company has developed remote operation systems and other “extras” to help achieve their goal.  

Another thing to consider is that while automotive and tech industries are developing vehicles tailored for riders, not drivers, ownership is also set to look a bit different in the months and years to come. Major car manufacturers like GM and BMW are testing car-sharing and subscription services, using analytics and telematics technology. This means your customer base may shift from individual vehicle owners to fleet owners and managers.

We are all part of this timeline. The advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) on today’s vehicles are a prelude to that benchmark of full autonomy. Each new sensor and system, along with developments in powertrain electrification and greater digital mobility, are simply stops along the road to those next-gen vehicles and business models.

While this all may feel more like a scenic tour at times, rest assured the destination coordinates have been set and we are on our way.

About the Author

Sara Scullin | Editor | PTEN and Professional Distributor

Sara Scullin is the editor of PTEN and Professional Distributor magazines. These publications are part of the Endeavor Business Media Vehicle Repair Group, which includes Fleet Maintenance, Professional Tool & Equipment News (PTEN), Professional Distributor magazines and VehicleServicePros.com.

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