When we think of cities of the future, self-driving cars or Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) are zipping around “smart” infrastructure, reducing traffic and urban sprawl and increasing efficiency. That vision isn’t that far off.
ut unlike other futuristic technologies, such as Virtual Reality or Artificial Intelligence, the projected $1.5 trillion AV industry faces incredibly complex regulatory environments that challenge stakeholders around the world in both public and private spheres. Understanding where innovation is happening, and what is slowing it down, is crucial for a vast array of industries that extend far beyond the automotive sector — from transit and manufacturing to cybersecurity and tourism.
It is hard to say where the first dominant AVs will emerge, since each market has a unique combination of advantages and challenges. The US has a mix of established automakers and high-tech innovators, which has given rise to both fierce competition and a huge talent pool. But it is also hamstrung by a lack of Federal direction, conflicting state and even municipal regulations, and a “wait and see” approach to determining if the Trump administration’s emphasis on traditional manufacturing will extend to AVs.
In the EU, strong governmental support and an enthusiastic auto-industry has yet to overcome complex treaties and regulations governing international roads. Meanwhile, various countries across Asia are embracing AVs as ways to further develop urban centers, and growing consumer power could lead to huge demand —but only if those consumers can be convinced of the safety of AVs.
AVs could revolutionize manufacturing, logistics, and transit, and have far-reaching implications for the future of urban design and green technology.
Who will win the global race for AVs? Those who closely follow the emergence of widespread AV technology, as well as the policies, priorities and barriers that come with it, can better position themselves to take advantage of its profound impact on nearly every industry around the world.
Read the full report: A Global Race For Autonomous Vehicles