When Will I Be Able To Buy A Self-Driving Car?
Self-driving cars are already being tested around the world, but when can we realistically expect them to be on the road? When will we be seeing automated cars for sale outside dealerships? Here’s what the experts think…
Manufacturers say as early as 2021
Manufacturers have suggested some fairly optimistic dates – BMW claims they’ll have automated cars on the road by as early as 2021. Other manufactures such as Nvidia and Bosch have their sights set on 2025. These aren’t confirmed launch dates but simply targets.
Technically Volvo already has a fleet on the road – 100 vehicles are already driving the streets of Sweden with passengers behind the wheel. However, this is technically still a testing phase and these vehicle are still being carefully monitored with room to alter them. Other companies may introduce a similar gradual scheme before giving passenger complete free reign.
Legislators think it could be much longer…
Governments around the world including US congress are already in the process of creating laws for driverless cars. The UK government have claimed they may have driverless cars on the road by 2021.
That said, this year saw the first pedestrian death caused by an automated vehicle, which shows safety concerns that could prolong this lawmaking process. Already, solicitors are preparing for driverless cars to hit the road and there are self-driving car accident lawyers already set up. Drivers and manufacturers are thought to be at fault in most cases of an accident, but experts are still looking into rare instances where this may not be the case.
You’ll need to dig deep into your pockets
Even when self-driving cars are on the road, not everyone will be able to afford them initially – they’re thought to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars according to the CEO of Luminar making them out of most people’s budgets. Other than a few private owners, self-driving cars may at first be reserved for large fleet owners such as Uber and Lyft. After the first self-driving car fatality, Uber is currently in a state of limbo as to whether to continue with testing – so it may only be Lyft buying automated cars at first.
You may only be able to drive in certain places
Automated car owners may not be able to enjoy the same freedom as normal drivers at first. Whilst self-driving cars have shown the ability to negotiate narrow country roads, there are still concerns as to how they’ll react when sharing these roads with unpredictable drivers. Driverless cars may at first be reserved for certain roads and routes. Highways are planning to have special driverless car lanes that could help to prevent these cars getting into accidents with normal vehicles. There could even special smart route implemented in which monitors can sense changing road conditions and allow driverless cars to react more preemptively to hazards.