News There's still a way to go before autonomous vehicles are the norm

20:51  09 november  2017
20:51  09 november  2017 Source:   autofile.ca

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However, it will still be a while before such vehicles are made on the production line. Though it may seem that, from a technological point of view, the matter of autonomous driving has largely been solved, there are still many hurdles.

TORONTO, ON – Autonomous vehicles have the potential to revolutionize mobility and transform society, according to Larry Hutchinson, president and CEO of Toyota Canada (TCI). But there’s still a lot of work to be done before they become the norm.

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Cautions that there ' s still a lot of work to be done before autonomous vehicles are the norm . "Automated vehicle technology is going to revolutionize mobility – and transform society – in ways more profound than the move from the horse-drawn carriage to the Model T."



“The autonomous vehicle is a great opportunity for the automotive industry and will change society as we know it. Just don’t expect it to happen tomorrow,” cautioned Hutchinson, during his keynote address at the 2017 TalkAUTO conference in Toronto.

TalkAUTO is an annual conference for Canadian automotive industry influencers, jointly organized by J.D. Power and Canadian Black Book.

A 31-year veteran of Toyota Canada, Hutchinson says we’ve never seen the pace of change that we’re seeing right now. “Automated vehicle technology is going to revolutionize mobility – and transform society – in ways more profound than the move from the horse-drawn carriage to the Model T,” he predicted.

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It’s going to be a while before self-driving cars become the norm . There ’ s no way I’m letting a robot drive me around without human backup, at least not until the technology improves. But he thinks it will take 10-to-15 years before Uber’s autonomous vehicles become ubiquitous.

For Toyota, the primary goal of vehicle autonomy is its impact on safety, he explained –  “Safety improvements alone justify the investments being made.”)

But in the big picture, safety is just one of the benefits, along with more fluid traffic flow, reduced congestion, and increased mobility for many segments of our population.

“Think about the life-changing impact autonomous vehicles will have on the millions of people who have mobility challenges,” he noted. “Older people, people with disabilities and people who can’t afford their own car. In the future, they’ll have access to mobility we just can’t provide today.”

While multiple companies both within and outside the auto industry are in a race to bring autonomous vehicles to market, Toyota holds more patents in the field than any other company, according to a 2016 report by Thomson Reuters. But Hutchinson stressed that his company’s focus isn’t on getting there first.  It’s on getting it right!

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Autonomous vehicles won’t just change the way we get around; they There has been a lot of press recently about the utopian promise of autonomous vehicles . It is no revelation that transportation has already gone through a fundamental shift with ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft.

Which means that there is still a reasonable time to wait. With autonomous car sharing system, that will become a major way to transport for most people, the rate of car ownership would go down and our relationship with vehicles would reduce down to business purposes only.

“How safe is safe? When do we decide it’s okay to roll a technology out into millions of vehicles?” he asked.  “For us, it’s clear: Safety is paramount. So nothing goes on or into a Toyota until it’s proven.”

Hutchinson highlighted some of the challenges facing the industry in bringing autonomous vehicles (AVs) to market.

For sure, autonomous is coming he said – because the benefits are too great to be ignored. But it’s not going to be here tomorrow.  For the foreseeable future, our roads will be home to an increasing mix of vehicles: conventional, automated and, eventually, autonomous.

Not only is much more research required to perfect the technology, but also to prepare society for its arrival. Ethics, regulations, infrastructure, and consumers will all be important hurdles to the mainstreaming of autonomous vehicles.

“It’s going to take the combined efforts of governments, insurance companies, manufacturers, and all kinds of other players to make the mainstream adoption of autonomous vehicles a reality,” Hutchinson emphasized.  “We need to start laying the groundwork today for what will be on our roads tomorrow.”

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Hyundai road tests autonomous driving FCEV .
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