The leader of a major driverless car trial says fully self-driving cars may be 10-15 years away from being a regular sight on British roads, or may never happen at all.
The magazine Fleet News quotes Graeme Smith, Senior Vice President of Oxbotica and consortium leader for Project Endeavour as saying, “When most people think about autonomy they think about passenger cars and, in reality, that’s many years away, maybe 10 or 15, maybe never. We are a long, long way away from any vehicle that’s able to be autonomous anywhere in the world at any time.”
Project Endeavour is a multi-city demonstration of AVs, jointly funded by industry and Government. It has built six self-driving vehicles, based on Ford Mondeos, and started operating them on a public loop in Oxford in November.
Fleet News further quotes Smith as saying, “Everything is restricted to a domain, so the answer to the question about when will we start to see this technology is not black and white because you can see autonomous systems happening around us already.
“Over the next few years, we will start to see AVs being used in areas such as mining and construction.
“There are also industrial environments that are simple and easy to operate in, and then there are areas not on public roads where you could use multi-people shuttles and these will start to happen in the next five or so years.
“After that, maybe six or seven years, we’ll probably start seeing robotaxi-type vehicles operating in certain places, but it will be many years before the technology is ubiquitous.”
(Picture – Oxbotica)