Rideshare, connected cars, autonomous, 3D-printed and cognitive vehicles – keeping track of all the trends in mobility and transportation is not an easy job.
2016 was a year of many “firsts” in the space, setting the ground for more innovations to come. Granted, it won’t happen all at once, but 2017 is well-positioned to become the year of mobility. We’ve highlight four trends that we think will be the most crucial for 2017. Check them out.
1. Autonomous Takeover
The wait is over: This is the year, when driverless cars will go from sci-fi movies onto the roads – in one way, or another.
“Last year, we went from a Jetson-type concept to a reality, with companies already testing fully autonomous cars on the roads,” said Michael Macauley, chief executive of Quadrant Information Services, which provides analytics solutions for property-and-casualty insurance companies. “We are at Level 2 of autonomous cars today, and we need to get to Level 5 for the cars to be allowed on the streets,” he said.
Major OEMs – such as Ford and BMW – claim they’ll have autonomous vehicles in dealerships by 2021. But just because you won’t be able to purchase a self-driving vehicle before then, doesn’t mean those won’t be out on the roads. Phoenix-based Local Motors, for example, is prepping a widespread release of its cognitive, fully autonomous shuttle buses this year.
“We have four units in pre-production, but the goal is to have 120 units ready-to-go by the end of 2017,” said Alex Fiechter, head of product development at Local Motors.
The company will start deploying those shuttles – called the Olli – in controlled environments, such as university or corporate campuses, as well as resorts and public streets with “very regulated traffic,” Fiechter said.
In short, the technology is out there, and concept cars – that drive, park, and talk with little help from the driver – have already been showcased.
Check out the parking skills of Faraday Future’s FF91 showcased during the CES 2017.
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