Autonomous Cars: Making Their Way Down the Assembly Line Back »

Written by Bethany Stoutamire (Former SDSU Extension Aging in Place Coordinator AmeriCorps VISTA Member) under the direction and review of Leacey E. Brown and Lorna Saboe-Wounded Head.

Driverless cars sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but they will be our reality sooner than we think. Autonomous cars are surely, but not so slowly making their way down the assembly line. When can we expect for these vehicles to hit the road? Below is some information about the progress different companies are making.

Recent Developments

  • Ford
    According to their website, Ford plans to have level 4 autonomous vehicles in operation by 2021. These cars will operate without a gas or brake pedal and steering wheel in certain geographic areas as part as a ride sharing experience. Watch a short video of Ford’s CEO talking about autonomous cars.
  • Waymo
    Owned by Alphabet Company (the same company that owns Google), Waymo was testing driverless cars in Phoenix Arizona as of November 2017. According to reports, Waymo also plans to develop their ride sharing business.
  • BMW
    BMW has announced plans to have a level 3 autonomous car available to consumers in 2021. A level 3 autonomous car is conditional automation where the driver still may be expected to intervene. BMW also has plans to launch level 4 and level 5 cars as part as a ride sharing service the same year.
  • Tesla
    In 2016, Tesla announced that all vehicles produced in their factories would have the installed hardware needed to be fully capable of self-driving. In December of 2017, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, estimated they would be able to produce fully self-driving cars within two years.

These are just a handful of the many companies working to further develop the autonomous cars. Autonomous cars will be on the roads faster than we think. Click on one of the articles below to learn more about autonomous cars.

Other Articles in This Series:

References & Additional Readings

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