Although fully autonomous or self-driving cars are nothing new these days, experts at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2013 World Congress believe that such cars will not become mainstream until 2025.
"2025 is the timeframe where we see cars driving themselves," said Christian Schumacher, director of engineering systems and technology for Continental Automotive Systems North America's NAFTA region, echoing the rough timeline for fully autonomous vehicles projected by most in the industry.
Although fully autonomous technology has proven itself to be fairly competent and reliable, experts say that they have the potential for added risk. Chief amongst them is what happens if the technology fails.
"If one accident happens as a result of automation," Schumacher said during a panel discussion Tuesday at Cobo Center, "then we're having a totally new discussion."
That said, experts at the congress also acknowledged that despite laws that prohibit drivers from using their smartphones while driving, the dangers of driver distractions such as texting or emailing while driving is still very real and rampant. But perhaps fully or maybe even semi-autonomous cars could help.
David Strickland from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that the agency is presently working on a research project examining the potential of fully autonomous cars and said that he sees potential in this technology and hopes that one day it could save lives.
Source: Detroit News