Some of the biggest names in the automotive industry are already priming the market for the introduction of self-driving vehicles. Brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Tesla have released, or are about to roll out, cars equipped with some level of autonomy. Even tech companies, such as Google, are working toward putting their own self-driving cars on the road.
The future of self-driving cars is upon us, and it'll be here sooner than most could have imagined according to a report from Business Insider Intelligence. Based on the current state of the technology and how they see it evolving in the coming years, they predict that 10 million self-driving cars will be on the road by 2020.
It should be noted that because of regulatory and insurance concerns, Business Insider's forecast is specific to user-operated self-driving technology. We still have a long way to go before vehicles operating with complete, level five autonomy hit the roads. Nevertheless, a car equipped with features that allow it to accelerate, brake, and steer with minimal to no human intervention is an accomplishment unto itself.
The technology does face some major hurdles to widespread usage. Right now, U.S. cities and road networks are still unprepared for this future. The cost it takes to produce self-driving cars proves to be a barrier for most motorists, and regulations have yet to be finalized and clarified. However, self-driving cars will revolutionize the industry by providing users with unprecedented convenience and ultimately making roads safer, and that revolution is just around the corner.