The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has released a study that suggests that in 20 years, cars won’t resemble what we drive now. That’s because we won’t be driving, meaning no need for steering wheels, no pedals, no shifter…no nothing.
For the most part cars have been the same for close over 100 years. Steering wheels, brakes, gear shift, and accelerator pedals have been, in one way or another, standard issue in what we call a car. With the onset of autonomous ca technology, and the production of such vehicles from major companies such as Google, IEEE set out to predict just how far the driverless car will change cars as we know them.
IEEE polled over 200 researchers, academicians, practitioners, university students, and government agencies in the field of autonomous vehicles to see what the future had in store. The survey was given to attendees at the IEEE Intelligent Vehicle Symposium in Dearborn, MI, USA, from 8 to 11 June, as well as distributed via e-mail to members of IEEE’s Intelligent Transportation Systems Society.
It turns out that if you love the thrill of diving you might be out of luck. The results of the survey and the study showed that the car of the future (and future meaning 30 years out from now) will be more of an automated amusement park ride. Thanks to GPS technology and advancements in sensor technology the first things to go on the car will be the steering wheel, brakes, gear shifters (which are already on their way out) and accelerator pedals will go. Next will be the rear view mirrors, horns, and emergency brakes.
When asked who will benefit from the takeover of the driverless car the study showed that the majority of respondents (54%) said that North America would benefit the most, followed by Europe (28%) and Asia (17%).
Now there is of course some concern about the rise of the driverless car. The FBI has voiced their concern about the potential for criminals to use driverless cars in freeway shootings and high speed chases, and of course there is always the chance that the car becomes self-aware…and we all know how that turns out. Then again, eliminating all those soon-to-be-unnecessary controls would open up car design to make it more like a mobile living room than an automobile.
But if you love to pop the clutch and hit the open road while controlling your car yourself, do it while you can – this study doesn’t seem all that far-fetched, though other studies predict that less than 10% of cars will be fully autonomous by 2035. Who knows though? It could even become illegal to drive your own car one day down the road.
Did you just feel a chill?