While autonomous vehicles may be one of the most hotly discussed technologies in recent years, according to Pierre Olivier, Chief Technology Officer at LeddarTech, in the industry autonomous vehicle development is not a fleeting trend. “As far as serious development, commercial development has been more than 15 years and yet, we’re still looking many years out as far as privately-owned passenger cars,” Olivier explained.
There are many challenges facing autonomous vehicle developers. Two of the major concerns include the legal framework for liability and social acceptance. Without a driver, it is difficult to address who is liable in an accident. From a social standpoint, many consumers express that they would be afraid to ride in a fully automated vehicle.
Cost is another challenge the autonomous vehicle industry still needs to overcome. “The cost is still an issue because you need to add lots of sensors and lots of processing to deliver functionality. Today the cost is way in excess of what people are prepared to pay for automation features, for once again for passenger privately owned vehicles,” Olivier noted. “These are the challenges that the industry needs to address,” Olivier said. Due to these challenges, the time to market continues to be pushed further and further out for autonomous vehicles, leaving those who are eager to utilize the technology with a longer wait time.