Autonomous cars will make up half of all new car sales in 25 years’ time, according to a new report from Kia. With the company celebrating its 25th anniversary in the UK, Kia commissioned a report to look at what the next 25 years will hold for the industry.
According to the forecasts, around eight million connected cars will be on the UK’s roads by 2020, and in 25 years autonomous cars will have their own dedicated lanes on motorways.
Fully autonomous cars will account for 50 per cent of total car sales in a quarter of a century’s time. Current adaptive cruise control and driver assistance systems such as Volvo’s Pilot Assist will add to that figure in more traditional vehicles.
With the increase in autonomous and connected cars, the country’s infrastructure will require a redical overhaul. This it to accommodate the mixture of autonomous and connected vehicles, and those that are stand-alone like the vast majority of today’s cars.
Part of the predictions see lanes assigned specifically to advanced vehicles on motorways, with the cars able to communicate with the road’s infrastructure to identify traffic, obstacles, and even potholes.
The report, which was commissioned in conjunction with Dr. Frank Shaw of the Centre for Future Studies, reveals some of the benefits of autonomous vehicles.
With level four autonomy (cars that are completely self-driving with no need for human input at all) parking fines will be almost eliminated as cars will be able to drop off their passengers before finding a suitable space, whilst insurance premiums for road traffic accidents are likely to be almost obsolete with cars able to avoid collisions through communication with each other.
With cars able to transport themselves between locations there is also likely to be an increase in car sharing – bringing down the costs and emissions associated with owning a car. The driving test process will be drastically overhauled – drivers will still need a license for partially autonomous cars, but fully self-driving vehicles will allow those who are unable to drive for reasons such as disability a freedom previously denied to them as no human intervention will be required.
Dr. Frank Shaw, who has been described by Time Magazine as one of the 10 most influential thinkers in the world, said: “The future of the car industry is an exciting one, as there will be a transformation from an industry built by mechanics to one that is largely driven by software developers.
“There is considerable speculation in 2016 about autonomous driving, the full impacts of which will not become manifest until the 2040s. I am confident however that over the next twenty five years, the industry and technology companies will deliver a safer, more efficient and environmentally friendly driving experience for everyone.”
Paul Philpott, Kia Motors UK President and CEO, said: “Technology in the motoring industry is moving at an incredibly fast pace, and this report is a fascinating look at how the world around our cars will need to adapt in order to keep up
“When Kia first started distributing cars in the UK 25 years ago the world was a very different place, as we have grown from a small importer with just one model to operating in 188 dealerships across the UK, we’re looking forward to the next 25 years and what the future will bring!”