Daimler CEO, Dieter Zetsche and Audi technical development chief, Ulrich Hackenberg, believe that autonomous driving is the next highlight in car industry.
According to Automotive News Europe, some executives from the car industry believe that autonomous driving will provide the highest level of future luxury while also increasing safety because 90% of the accidents are caused by human error.
But other industry leaders consider that there will be still enough people who enjoy to drive themselves instead to be driven by autonomus systems.
Dieter Zetsche, Ulrich Hackenberg and Elon Musk believe that in 10 years that fully self-driving cars will be available on the market.
Boston Consulting Group predicts that in 2035, self-driving cars will account a quarter of worldwide sales with 18 million cars partially autonomous and 12 million cars fully autonomous.
Mercedes presented this year the Luxury in Motion Concept at CES Las Vegas, a vehicle special designed for autonomus driving which features front seats that rotate 180 grade to transform the interior into a conference hall.
On the other hand, Sergio Marchionne, Fiat Chrysler Automobile CEO, is more pessimistic and think that people still want to drive their cars and will use only some automatic functions of the self-driving cars.
There are rumours that the self-driving cars field is in attention of powerful non-automotive companies such as Google and Apple. A Google top executive told to Automotive News in January that there are no current plans to enter in the car industry and Google will continue to supply software and cartography to automakers.
But Google did not deny that self driving cars field is interesting for the future. Quoted by Automotive News, Chris Urmson, the head of a self-driving car project at Google said that “at some point, we are going to be looking for partners to build complete vehicles and to sell on the market when the technology is safe and ready”.
Actually, premium carmakers like Audi, BMW and Mercedes offer a lot of systems for autonomous driving like Traffic Jam Assistant, Lane Departure System with steering correction, Blind Spot Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop&Go function or automatic parallel and perpendicular parking.
Recently, an Audi A7 Sportback drove autonomously 900 km from Palo Alto, California to Las Vegas, Nevada. Audi plans to offer semi-autonomous driving capabilities in the new A8 generation next year.