Regulatory developments in two regions of the US could pave the way for broader access to self-driving cars.
- The Texas Senate Transportation Committee passed a bill on Wednesday that would permit self-driving cars on public roads, provided that the tests comply with federal laws, and that companies testing register their vehicles with the state Department of Motor Vehicles. The bill, known as SB 2205, still needs to pass the state House of Representatives and be signed by Gov. Greg Abbott.
- In Portland, Oregon, the mayor and transportation commissioner together directed the city’s bureau of transportation to develop a set of rules for companies that plan to test self-driving cars in the city. In developing those rules, Portland will weigh proposals from companies looking to get their self-driving vehicles on the road.
New regulations will do little to move self-driving car production to the areas. Notably, Portland is also considering providing financial incentives to companies testing self-driving buses or shuttles as a means to entice these firms to the region. But it’s likely that states like Michigan and California, which are currently leading the way, will continue to do so. That’s because these firms are attracted to Silicon Valley’s vast developer talent and Michigan’s status as the home of the car industry. New regulations nationwide won’t likely shift the axis of the self-driving car space.
But looser regulations in different environments will speed up the development of self-driving cars. Safety is a major barrier to getting these cars on the road. That’s because self-driving cars aren’t always able to navigate various types of public roads — car companies are still seeing vast numbers of disengagements, where humans intervene because an autonomous vehicle can’t handle the road. Gaining access to new locations means that companies will have the ability to test these cars in different conditions, which in turn will help them navigate safely through different areas of the country, and in turn could get them on the road more quickly.
The self-driving car is no longer a futuristic fantasy. Consumers can already buy vehicles that, within a few years time, will get software updates enabling them to hit the road without the need for a driver.
This autonomous revolution will upend the automotive sector and disrupt huge swaths of the economy, while radically improving energy efficiency and changing the way people approach transport around the world.
Automakers and tech companies are racing to develop the technology that will power self-driving cars in the coming years. That tech is advancing, but leaves observers with a bigger question: will consumers trust driverless car tech, and will they want to use autonomous cars?
Peter Newman, research analyst for BI Intelligence , Business Insider’s premium research service, has compiled a detailed report on self-driving cars that analyzes the market, and forecasts vehicle shipments and market penetration. It also profiles the players expected to take on a prominent role in the autonomous future, examines the barriers to autonomous car development and adoption, and reviews developments in technology, regulation, and consumer sentiment. Finally, it analyzes the impact the introduction of autonomy will have on various industries and transport trends.
Here are some of the key takeaways from the report:
- Self-driving cars are coming; there will be fully autonomous cars on the roads in the US in 2018, and adoption will just take off from there.
- The technology is developing swiftly to allow fully self-driving vehicles, while the regulatory environment is adapting to the anticipated changes that this new technology will bring.
- We conducted a survey asking our exclusive BI Insiders panel about their thoughts on self-driving cars, the future of the automotive industry, and the impact autonomous vehicles will have on their purchasing habits moving forward. The results provide a picture of consumer sentiment at the precipice of the autonomous era.
In full, the report:
- Sizes the current and future self-driving car market, forecasting shipments and projecting installed base.
- Explains the current state of technology, regulation, and consumer perception.
- Analyzes how the development of autonomous cars will impact employment and the economy.
Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:
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